Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1985)
Debates for 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987
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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Wednesday 27 February 1985 Mr. TUXWORTH (Chief Minister): Mr Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is a past master of taking a quote from here and a paragraph from there, leaving out the substance. of messages, press releases or letters, comparing the 2 paragraphs or sentences that suit him and making the allegation that somebody has done something dishonest or deceitful or unsatisfactory. The Leader of the Opposition has been pulled up in this Assembly a dozen times by ministers for that practice and today is another day for it to happen. Mr Speaker, I would just like to step back for a moment to the election atmosphere to which the Leader of the Opposition referred and put into perspective the press release that I issued on 28 November. At that stage, the government was negotiating and getting its finances into order for the casino arrangements. The federal candidate for the Labor Party, the former member for the Northern Territory, came out with suggestions that the government had diverted funds from its budget to purchase the casinos and that the Territory owned them. Clearly, the object of the exercise was to cause doubts and confusion,alarmandconcern, and frighten people generally about something that need not have been a matter for concern. Mr Speaker, I would like to read into Hansard the details of the 2 documenis so that we are not dealing with the odd sentence here and there as the Leader of the Opposition did for the purposes of his case. Mr B. Collins: I provided all members with copies as a matter of fact. Mr TUXWORTH: Mr Speaker, the press release of 28 November reads as follows: The Chief Minister, Mr Ian Tuxworth, today refuted claims made by Mr John Reeves that the Northern Territory government had diverted funds from its budget to purchase the casinos and that the Northern Territory now owned them. 'The blatant scaremongering used by Mr Reeves to frighten and confuse Territorians is outrageous Mr Tuxworth said. The Chief Minister said the facts were simple: (1) No department funds allocated for projects or wages and salaries had been diverted to purchase the casinos; (2) the casinos are owned by a private trust, not the government; and (3) the finalisation of the casino purchase had been set back by Federal Treasurer Mr Keating's political interference using the Foreign Investment Review Board, with the support and collusion of Mr Reeves. 'In line with proper commercial practice, the government must maintain its stance of not releasing full details of the transaction until the arrangements are complete,' Mr Tuxworth said. Mr Speaker, the letter that I wrote to the Leader of the Opposition yesterday reads: Dear Mr Collins, In your letter of 25 January 1985, you have sought explanations and assurances OIl matters associated with the purchase of casinos. As you would be aware, the government has at all times a balance of funds comprising the balances in the Consolidated Fund and the Trust Fund. This balance of funds is invested by Treasury in various securities in accordance with the provisions of the Financial Administration and Audit Act. The act specifically provides that appropriation for investment purposes is not required and this recognises that a government must have the ability to 31
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