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 terms of developed roads in the Northern Territory as compared to the states. Even though our existing roads are in better condition than roads interstate, we have very little in the way of developed roads. Nevertheless, we are expected to find another $1.5m to add to the $5m to upgrade a few kilometres of the Victoria Highway. That is hardly a proposal which one would get excited about. Obviously, the other states did not become excited about it either. The Prime Minister's comment that every $0.5m spent to pick up the 'black spots' on Australian roads would result in the saving of a life is puerile. The member for Nhulunbuy used the word 'puerile' many times in his comments thi seven i ng. However, when we ta 1 k about pueril e comment, the Prime Minister's comment has to take the cake. If $0.5m would save 1 life, we could buy back every life that we are likely to lose in this country in the next 12 months for $1500m. If that will give us back the lives that we are likely to lose forever, let us do it. The cost of $1500m would be cheap. Of course, it is ridiculous. There are other factors which have to be taken into account to ensure that lives are saved. Whilst the expenditure of $1500m would solve many problems, it would not solve them all. I do not think that anybody can ~ondone the blackmail that the Commonwealth tends to use on the states and the Territory these days. The Commonwealth is continually saying: 'This is our policy. If you do this, we will give you these funds'. It then steps away saying that it has done its bit. Such blackmail and extortion is just not on. Given that, I fully support the actions of the Minister for Transport and Works in knocking back the offer. The cheek and the hide of the member for the Northern Territory in the House of Representatives, Warren Snowdon, never ceases to amaze me. It is absurd for him to say that he has won these things for the Northern Territory during the last few years and to claim that he has won that work for the Victoria Highway when we all know of the work which the Minister for Transport and Works and hi s department have put in. I am sorry that I did not bring the submission to the Commonwealth into the House. It was an excellent document. It depicted the reality of the Victoria Highway. It 1.s the sort of thing which has won the little support which has been achieved for the Victoria Highway over the last few years. It 1.s puerile of Warren Snowdon to say that he has done these things when, in fact, he did not obtain for us any part of the $120m top up which was offered last year. It is simply wrong. All ministers of the Northern Territory government have received press releases, which we are supposed to endorse, stating that particular projects are joint actions of the Commonwealth and Territory governments. In recent years, we have been sickened by the fact that everyone of these press releases refers to the relevant Commonwealth minister, .Senator Bob Collins, Warren Snowdon and the Territory minister. I have never ever endorsed one of those press releases. I refuse to do it. In fact, I wrote in response to one of them: , I f you accept the drover's dog as we 11, I will approve it'. I then went ahead and issued my own press release. Such tactics are even fooling the press into saying that Warren Snowdon has done a good job. He does not actually do anything. He simply issues one press release after another saying that he has done a good job. That really sickens me and I think it is time that the Northern Territory people woke up to the fact that, whilst it is very easy for a Commonwealth minister to issue a press release endorsing the actions of Warren Snowdon or Bob Collins, that does not mean that they are doing anything. In fact, they 8804