Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (30 November 1989)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (30 November 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 30 November 1989 Northern Territory. That means that key questions, such as the type of cities and towns we want to live in, have to be addressed. We need to ask ourselves whether we want high-rise or low-rise. How long do we want to take to get to work? Do we want traffic jams? Do we want smog and pollution? Do we want ready access to recreational areas? All of those questions are very important, and they cannot be left to chance. The community needs to be involved on those questions and a broad-ranging consultative process will be adopted by the Labor Party. Mr Speaker, of course, when we have done that, we have had an amazing response, and I refer again to the planning study done by the Labor Party and given some publicity. The people of Darwin appreciated the opportunity that a Labor Party gave them to comment on our thoughts and what the Darwin of the future should look like. I give a commitment to the people of the Northern Territory that, on those major lifestyle issues, they will be consulted. Their views will be taken into account. A Labor' government will work towards achieving consensus on what sort of lifestyle we should have in the Northern Territory and how it can be achieved, consistent with steady and sustainable economic development and economic growth. Mr SPEAKER: Order! The honourable member's time has expired. Mr EDE(Stuart): Mr Speaker, I move that the Leader of the Opposition be granted an extension of time to complete his remarks. Motion agreed to. Mr SMITH: Mr Speaker, let me turn to constitutional development and set the record straight once again. The Labor Party has set, a realistic goal for full constitutional equality with the states, and that is the year 2001. The case for statehood will be strengthened by an improvement in race relations, which a Labor government' will bring about, and a strengthening and broadening of the economic base. A realistic timetable will be developed for the progressive hand-over of powers, but the difficulties in relation to key issues such as land rights must be recognised. A Labor government in the Northern Territory will not treat the quest for statehood as a political football. We will treat it realistically. We realise that it is a desirable aim. We are committed to the year 200t as a date by which it should be achieved. Mr Speaker; let me turn again to the railway. The railway is an important element in planning for the Territory's future. A Labor government will apply the same judgment criteria to the railway as it will apply to all other projects - that is, the cost to the government and the benefits to the community. In the early years of the Labor government, we will concentrate on a realistic assessment of how much work the Darwin port could generate for the railway and h'ow much benefit that work will be to the Territory. After all, there is a limited benefit and little integration in simply off-loading goods from ships to train and sending them south. It concerns me, and always has, that this Chief Minister and previous Chief Ministers see this as a main project for the 1990s. It is that sort of obsession with large projects that has brought this government to a standstill. To hope for the one big bang that will save us is not the way for a government to behave. The railway is important and a Labor government will look at it, but we will survive and flourish without it. Surviving and flourishing without it means that we will bring it closer. We certainly will not be obsessed with it. 8500

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