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 was working, he would find some way of returning to central Australia, the area he loved most. He was one of the most terrifying people to drive with. When you were driving with Trevor, you always tried to ensure, that you were in the front with him and that there was nobody in the back seat. He had a most disturbing tendency of driving at great speed whilst turning around and tal king to the person in theback,seat. You would attempt to grab him and force his attention 'back to the road. On a number of occasions~ this habit caused him to run off roads, but he would merely shrug it off and proceed . . He was totally Unable to stop' talking. He was bursting with ideas about what individuals and governments should be doing to make the world a better place. When I first went to Congress, he was almost impossible to work with. The <organ,isation had some administrative difficulties which 1 was trying t01getinto some sort of shape. He would not make appointments. He would burst into your office and demand that everything stop while he to ld you 'about ' an 'i dea that he had. At fi rst, because they seemed 1 i ke good ideas, I wou 1 d fo 11 ow them up. However, he wou 1 d have 5 or 6 of these in the course of 1 day. Eventually, I ins i sted that he put them in writ i ng. When he brought an i'dea back in writ i ng, I would put it at the bottom of a great pil e of papers. If he remembered that idea more than a week 1 ater, I would then take it out and read it. In this way, I found generally that he sifted the~est and more practical ideas out and dropped the rest. He was amazing. I have 'spent some time in the pub 1 i c service and I know of many people in thepublic\ service who have made an entire career out of 1 good idea. He wou 1 d come up with 1 rea 11 y top idea about once a month. There are not many people who have the incredible originality of mind necessary to enable them to do that. We tried to maintain the salaries at Congress in tune with public service standards, but we never quite made it and adjustments would not be paid. On one occasion, he came in and told me that he had received an offer of a6-figure salary to work as a physician in Adelaide doing 3 days work a week. For a person who was working 90 and often 100 hours a week on a relatively small salary, that must have been a fair temptation. It was the mark of the man that he laughed it off and said: 'No way in the world'. He was a Labor man of the old school. He was Labor to his bootstraps, but there was nothing trendy about Trevor Cutter.. He was a real man of the people.' He was dedicated to the belief' that injustice and inequality had to be abolished. That passion directed his whole life. His exuberance and his attempts to fit 4 lives into 1 were famous. His nickname was 'Cyclone'. Basically, that was the man - Trevor Cyclone Cutter. He wi 11 be very fondly remembered by all the people who ever came'i nto contact with him. He was :not a person whom you could meet and forget. At his memorial service in Alice Springs, I was. asked to speak about him. He was a deeply religious man, a great believer in the Uniting Church and a regular churchgoer. I remarked that, even though he had passed away only about a week before, he wou 1 d have pestered St Peter already about the need to get down to purgatory and do something about the conditions there. With the passage of' a couple: of months by now; he wi 11 have had purgatory sorted out and he will be arguing about the need to do something about the everlasting sentences in hell, such as time off for good behaviour and rehabilitation programs that could be. quite effectively organised. That is the way that I 'remember Trevor Cyc lone Cutter. 9974