Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (14 August 1990)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (14 August 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 14 August 1990 After hearing that comment from the Deputy Chief Minister, I am practically speechless. Mr Coulter: They are ABS figures. I do not know what you are speechless about. Mr SMITH: Watch my lips, as George Bush said on a famous occasion. Mr Coulter: Look what he did. He increased taxes within 12 months of saying it. Mr SMITH: I will say it very slowly. The problem with the wage and sa 1 ary earner fi gures is that they do not refl ect the total number of emp 1 oyed. They are 12 000 short of the total number of employed. The reason is that agriculture, defence and self-employment are not included. To use a practical example, all the doctors and lawyers who are self-employed in the Northern Territory obviously are not covered by the wage and salary earner table because they are not wage and salary earners. They are self-employed. I do not want to pro long th is debate any further. The evi dence is clear. There was a definite government commitment - 'Make It Happen with Hatton' - to create 1000 jobs a year, beginning in March 1987. As of July, on the best figures available, figures supplied by the ABS indicate that, instead of a 1000 jobs a year being created, we have lost 1000 jobs. There is no one else to blame. The federal government did not twist the arm of the Chief Minister in February 1987 and insist that he make this promise. He had available to him all the information about what would happen. This promise, the key plank in the Northern Territory's government election commitment, has been broken. That is why this motion was moved today. Motion negatived. MINISTERIAL STATEMENT ISC Report Into Road User Charges Mr FINCH (Transport and Works): Mr Speaker, in May this year, a report was tabled in the federal parliament entitled, 'Road User Charges and Vehicle Registration: A National Scheme'. This report, compiled by the now defunct Inter-State Commission, recommended far-reaching changes to the way in which our roads are funded and just who is paying the bill. The report's recommend at ions represent a dramat i c challenge to the way freight is moved in this country in the name of micro-economic reform. In doing that, the ISC has put the cart before the horse in that it pre-empts the Hawke government's nat i ona 1 frei ght i nit i at i ve and the overall need to provide a more rational ised and efficient freight network. Clearly, an integrated freight system is an urgent priority, given the demonstrably inefficient nature of the rail network. Ironically, it is the same inefficient rail network which stands to benefit from many of the ISC report's recommendations. While the ISC report lacks a global land transport perspective, its recommendations clearly have ramifications for the whole land transport sector. It deals with road transport in i so 1 at i on, and suffers because of it. Indeed, there is also a clear need to examine the sea land interface which is vital to any micro-economic reform process. The thrust of the report was to forge a direct link between road use charges and road expenditure. At present, there is no connection between road user related 9738

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