Parliamentary record : Part I debates (02 October 1990)
Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990
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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Tuesda~ 2 October 1990 standing up and reciting a range of areas in which be believed that there were problems unt il he found somebody who looked as though they were nodd i ng or in some way indicating agreement, at which point he would say: 'That is right. That is right. You agree with that, eh?' People were totally bemused, wondering what he had said. It was the most amateurish attempt that I have ever seen anybody make. If a hi gh school student were to use such methodology, the teacher would give the report a fail mark. The whole process and the report represent nothing more than self-indulgence on the minister's part. Thank goodness the report has absolutely no status. It is wishy-washy in the extreme' and it says virtually nothing. In fact, all it does is condemn Aboriginal education to another series of high-minded thoughts, reviews and speculations. I presume that, after having spent a number of years in government, off and on the ministerial benches, the minister sees the report as his magnum opus. It is not a report which I would like to put my name to, bt:lt no doubt the honourable minister has different standards. I would ask how much the report cost because I believe that it must be one of the most expensive reports put forward to this government. Enormous cost must have been involved in transporting the minister and his entourage around the Territory. It was put to me the other day that the minister's review was the best thing that could have happened because it got the mi n i ster out. of the hair of the department and 1 et it get on with its business. Departmental staff thought it was a wonderful thing that the minister was out bush. . Mr Harris: Talk about Aboriginal education, will you? Mr EDE: Mr Speaker, any honourab 1 e member who watched the excellent episode of 'Yes Minister' on television last night will know what I am talking about. Mr Reed: Oh, is that why you have not read this? You were watching television. Mr EDE: It was an excellent episode. Actually, it raised a point of relevance to the member for Katherine - that the first action of a minister, when he is under attack, is to dump responsibility on the department. A second point was that the most wonderful time for the people in the department is when the minister is out travelling. The report must have cost a fortune. Its contents are the type of thing that might have'been written by a teacher who had spent 1 year in the bush. Where are the new and courageous moves in this? Where are the commitments to anything? The title is 'Talking is not Enough'. That is true; talking is not enough. We have heard a great deal of talk on this subject and really it is about time to move on. I opened the report at random. It fe 11 open in the mi dd 1 e of recommendation 1.1'4 which recommends that the Department of Education and DEET should meet asa matter of priority to consider incentives. Recommendat i on 1.15 says that the Department of Educat i on, wi th the Department of Transport and Works, should review the transport policies. Thus, one is 'to consider' and another is 'to review'. By 1.16, a comparative study of various systems is to be made. Recommendation 1.17 says that 'efforts should be made'. That is a pretty strong statement! Recommendation 1.18 is that the Northern Territory and Commonwealth 10 673
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