Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)


Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990




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 - Tuesday 27 February 1990 pipeline and it will give us a great chance of better electricity prices as the days go on. To my regret, an article in the Queensland Country Life of last Thursday or Friday seemed to indicate quite emphatically that Mt Isa would now be buying its gas from the Queensland deposits, running the pipeline past the Duchess phosphate operation and into Mt Isa, and that the proposals to buy gas from the Territory look like being set aside. I would be grateful if the minister could give us some indication during the course of these sittings as to how discu~sions on the sale of Territory gas to Mt Isa are going, and confirm whether we are really in the race or out of it. It is something that many people believe would be a positive move for the Territory and one that we ought to pursue with vigour if there is any chance of obtaining the contract for the Territory rather than having the gas supplied from the Queensland source. It is fair to say that, for Mt Isa to buy the gas from the Queensland field, the pipeline will be in the order of 800 km. The economics for the Territory to supply the gas would have to be in the ballpark. Possibly, the only reason that we may miss out is because the Queenslanders may decide that they want to consume their gas, which is their prerogative, even though it is not the most economic source of supply available to them. The last item that I would like to touch on tonight relates to the development of the Aboriginal community in Tennant Creek and the training that is available to young Aborigines in the Tennant Creek area. If any ministers come to Tennant Creek and they have the time late at night to go for a walk down town, they will see that we have really 2 communities. We ha ve a day commun i ty and ani ght commun ity . The night commun ity is not necessarily a troublesome one at all, it is simply a different set of people who are out doi ng thi ngs. They seem to go home and sleep a 11 day. What is beginning to cause me concern is the number of young people, possibly between 14 and 26, who are out on the streets at ni ght enjoyi ng themselves and, in general, behaving themselves. Many of them play sports such as basketball and then move on to do other things. Most of them are Aboriginals and there is considerable potential there for employment if we can provide the training for them. What concerns me is that, if we do not identify some training for them, these people will go through life as night people who live on government assistance of various kinds and never really find a constructive role for themselves in the community. If there was a half dozen or a dozen of them, I would not be so concerned. However, the numbers are really significant. It would be a very useful exercise if government, through its various agencies and particularly through TAFE, could start to identify special programs that could utilise the talents of these people who are not fulfilling their potential. I would also commend to parliamentary colleagues that, if they would gain a perspective on the development of the Aboriginal community in Tennant Creek, they would find it rewarding to attend one of the dry discos that are organised for the Aboriginal community in particular. These attract hundreds of people and are generally pretty good shows. Quite often, considerable trouble is taken to secure 1 ive bands. These di scos are well run and fulfil a very useful purpose in the community. Once again, this is an indication of the considerable human resources available in the town that are not being used in a very c;onstructive fashion. There should be a great future for these people. In some ways, I do not think Tennant Creek is very different from many other towns. Some may have different opportunities and ways of managing their young people. Certainly, in Tennant Creek, there 8866