Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (11 November 1986)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (11 November 1986)


Debates for 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Tuesday 11 November 1986 Development wishes to discuss questions of community government in my electorate, he might feel a similar rush of bipartisan spirit overwhelming him. It would be curmudgeonly of me to suggest that either of those gentlemen was seeking in any way to obtain some sort of political advantage in that regard and I would be the last person to suggest such mean motivation. Mr Deputy Speaker, to turn to the Department of Transport and Works, in broad-brush terms, I think that comment has already been made by both the leader of the Opposition and the Deputy leader of the Opposition with respect to the revenue-raising measures that operate within that department. I noticed that charges for water services are likely to increase by 50% and sewerage charges by some 80%. Of course, such increases cannot escape comment from a conscientious shadow minister for transport and works. I sincerely trust that the minister will pick that up in his comments. land sales, leases and rents revenue is to increase from $2.13m actual return in 1985-86 to $2.76m estimated return in 1986-87. Motor vehicle charges are to increase by a staggering 70%. The estimated return for 1986-87 is $9.01m against an actual return in 1985-86 of $5.22m. A projected increase of those dimensions deserves some comment. Announced in last year's budget with a great fanfare was a retirement village in the Alice Springs region which was described as being similar to the spectacularly successful Sun City in Phoenix, Arizona. There was an allocation of $150 000 to establish a group to plan the retirement village. I am not quite clear which minister is responsible for that, but I recall that the member for Flynn was fulsome in his description of the virtues of that proposed development. I presume that he will be equally fulsome when he explains how and why that money has been spent, if it has been spent at all. I see that my time is running out, Mr Deputy Speaker. As I said when I began, I will be making further comments in the committee stage in respect of specific expenditures. Mr DONDAS (lands): Mr Speaker, it is with pleasure that I rise to speak in this debate to elaborate on the size and implications of budget allocations to the Department of Transport and Works for 1986 and on my responsibilities as Minister for lands and Ports and Fisheries. During the committee stage, I intend to cover most of the points raised by the members of the opposition. During the passage of the Appropriate Bill last year, many pages of Hansard were taken up by debate during the committee stage. I think the former Minister for Transport and Works spent some 3 hours during the committee stage going through the points raised by the honourable members opposite. In order to be in a position to provide the necessary information during the committee stage, I will have officers of my departments investigate the questions raised in this debate this afternoon. Before I comment on particular areas of the department's operations, it will be useful to put the functions which the Department of Transport and Works fulfills in the overall context of the government's operations. The Northern Territory Department of Transport and Works is unique in Australia. No other single department is responsible for such a wide range of operations which includes the following roles: the government's major construction agent; state road authority; provision of water and sewerage services; provision of transport policy advice; operational responsibility for the Darwin Bus Service and motor vehicle registration; and the Government Printing Office. From the Treasurer's budget speech, all members will be aware that 834

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