Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 February 1989)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 February 1989)


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 - Thursday 16 February 1989 Our committee was charged with the responsibility of putting to parliament a design which we felt would be better able to facilitate the business of parliament, when and if the present facilities no longer exist. I too would like to thank the various advisers to the committee. Their forbearance was most commendable. The requirements of the committee and its various members were diverse, and I am sure that it was an extremely difficult exercise for the people advising the committee to draw together the various viewpoints of committee members in terms of the the building's design and function. I believe, however, that those people have done a very good job, within the constraints which the committee placed upon them in relation to costs and other matters. I hope that all members of the House will take the opportunity to attend the briefing that is to be provided in the committee room. I look forward, as I normally do when speaking on the reports of committees of this parliament, to hearing the comments of all members. I do not think the minister overstated it at all when he said that the approach of the committee and the various members of the committee was truly bipartisan. I would hope that all members of the House, no matter what their persuasion, will make frank and free comment about what they see to be shortcomings of the committee's report or any aspects of the design, particularly if they believe it should be in some way altered or enhanced. Mr Deputy Speaker, with those few words, I urge all members to take the opportunity to attend the briefing that will be available from the designers at 12 o'clock. Mr COLLINS (Sadadeen); Mr Deputy Speaker, you would be aware that I have always been very interested in the cost of this particular project. We have not been given many figures and, in some ways, I understand the Chief Minister's statement that he will not know the cost of the whole project until he goes to borrow the money. It is to be borrowed in various stages. However, Mr Deputy Speaker, you are well aware that interest rates are rising at this particular moment and for this House, and for the people of the Territory, I would like to update some figures I gave on a previous occasion. At that time, I used the figure that has been put around, that the overall project is expected to cost about S100m, which will be paid out to the builders, contractors, landscapers etc. That money, of course, will have to be borrowed. Borrowed money attracts interest and interest payments have to be met. I will repeat the figures that I gave in the last sittings. If $100m is borrowed at 13.5%, which was a fairly reasonable interest rate at that time, and if it were paid off over a period of 30 years, which is a reasonable time for the project, the all-up cost would not be $100m but $420m. That figure is calculated on the basis that payments would be made yearly. Today, the average interest rate has risen by about 2% to about 15.5%. My calculations tell me that SlOOm borrowed at 15.5% and repaid in yearly payments over 30 years will result in a total cost to the Territory of $471m - a $51m rise due to a mere 2% interest rate increase. That concerns me, and it concerns the people of the Territory. Further, recall a press release issued a month or so ago by the Chief Minister that indicated that he had borrowed the first $20m towards the State Square project at 4%, but that the interest rate would rise. If he could get the full amount at 4% and continue at that rate, it would be marvellous. It is less than inflation. However, as we well know, the people who are lending the money would have ensured that the interest rate will grow. That means that the people who will cop the henviest interest rates will be 5549

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