Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 August 1990)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 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 - Thursday 16 August 1990 conservation. It is totally opportunistic. They interpret issues purely in the light of the particular arguments they are trying to promote at a given time. Mr Smith: And you don't? What about weeds in Kakadu? Mr REED: That track has been used for 16 years, simply to allow access from one side of the river to the other and to move stock in a way which accords with the proper management of a pastoral 1 ease. Such act i vi ty is absolutely legitimate and, as far as I am concerned, totally supported. It happens on every pastoral lease in the Northern Territory. We expect managers of pastoral leases to do it. We expect them to provide access to their properties so that they can manage their land and their stock properly in order to comply with their covenants. That is the history of the track which the member for Wanguri has made such a fuss about. He does not know that history. He has not visited the area, and he has not experienced real life in the area. However, enough of the shallowness of the member for Wanguri, the opposition spokesman on conservation and the environment. I am eager to get to the positive aspects of this statement.' When I was with the Conservation Commission, I was privileged to take part in the acquisition of some of the land for the Gregory National Park. Indeed, I did that in the company of Mr Tom Dacey, who is in the adviser's box here today. I can well recall the time when we went out and negotiated with the then owner of Bullita Station, Mr Reg Durack, and his wife, Edith. We sealed the deal in relation to the acquisition of that property, which was the first land acquired for the Gregory National Park. From the point of view of national park management, that was a milestone in conservation in the Northern Territory. The member for Wanguri referred to plans of management. He argued that large areas of land were in danger because there was no plan of management. Of course, there are parks in the Northern Territory which do not have plans of management and, according to the member for Wanguri, no one is looking after them and we have a dreadful problem. Fortunately, the officers of the Conservation Commi ssion are much more committed and devoted to thei r task than are the honourable members opposite. In fact, on the day Bull ita Station was acquired, the Conservation' Commission started caring for and managing its lands. The commission does not wait for the paperwork. It does not wait for all 'the formalities which are so greatly valued by the member for Wanguri. Its officers do their jobs straight away. 'They do not wa it. Un 1 i ke the Leader, of the Oppos i t ion, they do not look for excuses. They do not have unveil i ngs of new po li ci es or new statements, without coming up with the documents for the public to study. They get on with the job. The Leader of the Opposition should be absolutely ashamed of himself. He is a disgrace to the people of the Northern Territory because he does not have the same commitment to the Northern Territory that people in the public service have and which, in thi~ particular case, people in the Conservation Commission have. He does not share their concern for the well-being of the Territory and for the responsibilities which they hold. The Leader of the Opposition and his colleagues stand condemned; The Minister for Labour, Administrative Services and Local Government has referred already to theacqui sit i on of Fi tzroy Station. That is a very sad story because the Northern Territory government paid for the land with taxpayers' funds only to have the Northern Land Council slap a land claim over it, a process which is totally supported by the members opposite. The 9908