Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 November 1986)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 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 - Thursday 27 November 1986 I hope that you, Mr Speaker, and the staff of the Assembly enjoy the festive season. The staff have worked extremely hard. We have had late sittings, and I know that they work long hours. I understand also that, on occasions there have been some problems with the car-parking arrangements for those people working late. However, I wish them well, Mr Speaker. Finally, every other member has commented about Territory Tidy Towns, and I missed out the other night because I ran out of time. I would like to say that, once again, Port Darwin has been successful. I think it is one of the few towns that has received an award each year in the Territory Tidy Towns competition. I am very pleased that we did not mar that record this year. I would like to congratulate all those people who were involved in helping to obtain that award in the electorate of Port Darwin, and my electorate secretary, Elizabeth Eustance, who received an award for the best documentation of the work that had been done in the electorate. Mr PERRON (Fannie Bay): Mr Speaker, I rise in the adjournment tonight primarily to express some concern about a situation that I have observed in the media over the past few weeks. As honourable members will be aware, the subjects of Kakadu, the possible inclusion on the World Heritage List of stage 2 of Kakadu and mining in Kakadu have been the focus of much national interest over the last few weeks. The whole matter has been the subject of debates in the national parliament and of considerable court activity by various governments and individuals. Generally, one might say, it has been one of the issues of the day. I have not been south during this period, unfortunately, but in my observation of local TV coverage of the events of the last couple of weeks relating to Kakadu stage 2, I have noted that much of the footage that has been shown on television during programs on this item of interest has been of the most magnificent aspects of stage 1 of Kakadu. I guess that TV stations would say that they have to run whatever footage they have on file or whatever footage they can obtain and, of course, most of the file footage of Kakadu held by any television station in Australia would be of stage 1: the magnificent Twin Falls, the escarpment country and the lagoons. Stage 1 contains some absolutely prime tourist country. In my view, what is grossly unfair is the fact that this footage has been run whilst the commentaries on news items have related to the debate about whether or not stage 2 should be listed as World Heritage material, whether or not stage 2 is suitable country to rate World Heritage listing, and whether or not mining should take place in stage 2 of Kakadu National Park. Mr Speaker, you can imagine visitors watching those TV programs time after time, particularly those from the south of Australia who are unfamiliar with the area, and being somewhat confused about stage 1, stage 2 and stage 3. Whilst seeing this film, they hear voices talking about the Northern Territory pursuing its line against listing and permission for mining. They hear representatives of mining companies saying mining should be permitted and the federal government saying that it should not. From all of that, it would be very easy to obtain a distorted view when forming your own opinion. If the presentation is distorted, then the view formed from it will be distorted. Of course, we are all aware that our opinions on matters that we are not familiar with are influenced by the media, by and large through television coverage. If we do not know very much about a subject or a place, obviously our views, opinions, attitudes and voting intentions - if it goes that far on any issue - will be influenced by presentations through the media. Therefore, it is encumbent upon the media to do its very best to present a fair and 1573

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