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 a statement we now know to be false and refuted for no other reason than that the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory put the partisan advantage of his own party before his responsibility to account honestly to the people who put him here as Chief Minister for how he looked after their affairs and their money. Mr Speaker, have a look in Hansard at the explanation that he put on this document. Mr Speaker, the carefully crafted parts of this press release from the Chief Minister are all the paragraphs apart from the first. The careful references to departmental funds etc were deliberately created to cement in place the absolute falsehood contained in the opening paragraph, and he cannot get around it; The Chief Minister refuted claims that the Northern Territory government had diverted funds from its budget to purchase the casinos. That stands there. I did not take the trouble to send across to my office for a copy of the letter for every member of this Assembly for nothing. It was so that it would not be taken out of context. The only relevance of the letter received from the Chief Minister yesterday is that it simply identifies - and it was not taken from a trust account - the appropriation in the budget from which came the $2.5m cash payment which was given away by the Northern Territory government. Not a single explanation in all of the nonsense we heard this morning affects that in the slightest. It stands. Mr Speaker, we are faced with a Chief Minister who, on his first day on the job, has indicated that he simply cannot be believed. It is as simple as that. He is on the record as saying it. We saw the usual performance from the people opposite this morning when I mentioned the fact that they had successfully deceived people. The trouble is that there is still that lingering feeling in the electorate that, if a person is the head of government and he puts out that categorical statement, until it is proven otherwise, you have to give him the benefit of the doubt. It is not a question of people being foolish or people being duped because they are stupid. It is because the Northern Territory people were prepared to give the new Chief Minister the benefit of the doubt when he assured them, in the face of our statements to the contrary, --that no funds had been diverted from the budget for the purchase of the casinos. They believed him. Mr Speaker, we now know that he has been exposed for what he is: a person who not only deliberately and knowingly tells people that something has not happened that he personally ordered be done 2 weeks earlier but one is perfectly happy to sit here with a grin on his face and say: 'I got away with it. What's wrong with you? You are going to go down 19 to 6'. That is all it amounts to. Mr Speaker, I will tell you the result of this. We are going to be able to nail the government on the rotten deal it has handed the Northern Territory at every budget session from nm. on. No one is going to take the statements of this new Chief Minister seriously in his first term. The basic point of the censure motion has not been answered. In fact, it has been affirmed by this debate this morning. Nothing has changed. He made a false statement. He admits the facts now. He simply said that it was done to save an election. Mr Speaker, the Chief Minister stands condemned by his own words and he should resign. The Assembly divided: 44
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