Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1985)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1985)


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




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





Publisher name

Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES - Wednesday 27 February 1985 tax regime over a 15-year period. The Chief Minister said that, whilst he would not table those documents, he was prepared to let the Leader of the Opposition see them on a confidential basis. Let him see the papers first, then worry about the discounting factor later; fools rush in where angels fear to tread. The Leader of the Opposition and his deputy spoke about a lack of business confidence since the casino acquisition debate began several months ago. The only thing that I can say is that, if there had not have been an early settlement of the $49.5m and an additional $2.5m paid over the agreed arrangement, there may have been a lack of investor confidence in this area. That was one of the things that we took into consideration. We had to pay $49.5m because Federal Hotels would not move below $55m. I really blame the Leader of the Opposition for the Northern Territory government having to pay the extra $2.5m. When the acquisition legislation was being processed, he was running around like a schoolboy yelling foul play and asking how the CLP free enterprise government could be doing this to a private enterprise company. What the Leader of the Opposition did not take into consideration at that time is that the licence given to a casino operator is very different from the type of licence given to people who might drive a taxi or operate a hire car. The member for Millner's remarks about ineffective negotiations are a load of rubbish. The Leader of the Opposition said that the decision to settle was made at a politically crucial time. It was made at the time so that the operators who were standing in the wings could take over the operations as quickly as possible. Let us talk about other political statements that are made at crucial times. For example, the Prime Minister, in the March 1983 election campaign, made a statement that we would get a railway and a new.airport. I understand a tender for a new airport has been accepted but there will not be any construction this year. Shame. They talk about political expediency! What is good for the goose must be good for the gander. Mr B. Collins: Is that your justification? Mr DONDAS: No, it is not my justification but it is my justification for your interjection. The opposition said that Kumagai Gumi had not put up its money until last Thursday. According to the rules of the FIRB - and I am very surprised that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition did not know this - Kumagai Gumi could not put its money into the trust until such time as Henry and Walker's money was in place. I can assure members that Henry and Walker's money was to go into the trust before 18 October. If it were not for the interference of the FIRB accepting the recommendation from its minister not to proceed, maybe we would not be in this particular mess today. The Kumagai Gumi money is in place and the trust has paid back to the Northern Territory government $21m plus an interest rate equal to what it would have been getting on a 180-day bull market. Mr Speaker, I turn to a couple of the questions asked by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. It is important that this be raised in the context of this debate. He asked whether there are any changes to be made to the NT gaming laws and, if so, what those changes are. He is frowning; he does not remember asking these questions but he did, and Hansard will prove it. The answer to that is no. The controls to be exercised over the operators flow through the operators' agreement. 41