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





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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 - Wednesday 27 February 1985 Tom's appointment as Assistant Harbour Master in 1957 was the first time a qualifed master mariner had been so appointed since the 1870s. In 1959, he was appointed Harbour Master and retained this position until he became the first Chairman of the Northern Territory Port Authority, as it was then known, at its inception in October 1963, a position he held until 1975. He was active as a board member for several years afterwards. Tom Milner was a foundation member of the Australian Institute of Navigation. In 1960, he was appointed Lloyds agent in the NT and, in 1971, he went into partnership with Mr Melbye to start a marine consultancy and survey business. From 1977 to 1982, he was honorary consul for Japan. Apart from being life patron of the Darwin Sailing Club, Tom was also a stalwart of the Darwin Club and an honorary member of the Officer's Mess of both Larrakeyah Barracks and the RAAF base. Tom Milner was a man of integrity and he was held in enormous respect by all who came into contact with him. He had a strong determination and interest in seeing a job well done. He did not sidestep a fight on an issue when his opinion was contradicted. But to his merit,'even his opponents would never deny him the respect he deserved because he always endeavoured to be fair in his dealings. Melbye put it in a nutshell with his accolade of Tom: 'He was a gentleman among gentlemen. Darwin is the poorer for his passing'. Mr SMITH (Millner): Mr Deputy Speaker, I will resist the temptation at this stage to reply to the rather peculiar letter from the Chairman of the Northern Territory Development Corporation. I expect I may get an occasion to do that later. As the matter has been referred to the Speaker for his decision, I will proceed to something else. Basically, I want to talk a little bit about the Disadvantaged Schools Program. I hope that the honourable Minister for Education, myself and all members of this Assembly may be able to do something to get more money for the Northern Territory. I have a particular interest in the Disadvantaged Schools Program because 2 government primary schools in my electorate, Millner and Rapid Creek, both receive money under that program. Millner receives money to the extent of 2 additional teacher aides and subsidised funds for needy families. In the words of the principal of the Millner school, that provides the ingredients for the cake but certainly not the icing on the cake. At Rapid Creek, the Disadvantaged Schools Program provides funds for a full-time resource teacher, a part-time resource aide, $2000-worth of resource materials and equipment and a language development program in the school. At present, the Disadvantaged Schools Program aims to support projects in declared disadvantaged schools which promote more effective learning, more enjoyable and relevant schooling and improved interaction between the schools and the communities which they serve. A school is declared, rather subjectively at present, on the basis of the social and financial circumstances of the community from which it draws its students. I mean 'subjective' in the sense that there are no actual procedures to establish disadvantage. It is a SUbjective judgment. Without doubt, the contribution made by the Disadvantaged Schools Program to both those schools is excellent. The Millner school is the more needy in that area. What has happened at Millner since the program has been introduced is that attendance has gone from one of the lowest in Darwin to one of the highest. There has been a much greater parent involvement in the school. Vandalism has dropped off noticeably 77