Northern Territory. Parliament. Legislative Council
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Presentation of grievances on behalf of the people of the Northern Territory to the Commonwealth of Australia stating that the political rights of the citizens of the Northern Territory are inferior to those of the rest of the nation. This document was created in late 1962.
Northern Territory -- Politics and government -- 1945-1965; Petition, Right Of -- Northern Territory
Legislative Council for the Northern Territory
 pages ; 30 cm.
Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)
Northern Territory Government
- 5 4. The Commonwealth Government has failed to accord the Legislative Council for the Northern Territory the respect and dignity due to a legislative body created ostensibly in the British parliamentary tradition. As witness~ Despite the assurance of the Minister for Territories in an address to the Legislative Council on 12th April, 1960, that "the national Parliament and the national Government will follow closely and with constant sympathy your work for and on behalf of this part of the Australian Commonwealth", the Legislative Council, although in fact it is the Parliament of the Northern Territory, has been treated as a section of the Department of Territories. Forexanplo, in reply to a communication from a select committee of the Council to the Hon. the Minister for Territories, his Secretary stated, "Following the receipt of your letter of 13th July, the Minister made a decision which was to be communicated to you through the Aduinistrator. He took the view that, as a matter of procedure, the approach by the Select Committee should have been made to the Administrator and he did not wish to by-pass the Administrator". The control of its staff and finance is vested in that Department. The very building in which it meets, although known as the Legislative Council Building, belongs to and is under the control of the Department of Territories. The Administrator, on the 22nd August, 1962, rejected a request from the House Committee of the Legislative Council that, upon the Northern Territory Administration moving from the Legislative Council Buildi~g to new offices, practically completed, the whole of the Legislative Council Building be placed under the control of the Legislative Council. On 14th April, 1960, the Council, without dividing, requested the Minister for Territories to institute a comprehensive inquiry into its scale of fees and allowances paid, to which the reply was given on 14th August, 1960 , that the request had been "fully and carefully examined" but that Cabinet was "disinclined to make any changes without a further period of trial. If after this period of trial the Council wishes to make a furt~er approach for a review it would be helpful if concrete examples could be given of anomalies and inadequacies in remuneration". In keeping with this suggestion the Council waited until 16th November, by which time the inadequacies of the remuneration were obvious, and prepared a comprehensive and factual report detailing not only the inadequacy of the fees but the great increase in duties and obligations which had come about. In ~pril 1962, the Minister for Territories acknowledged receipt of this report but was unable to advise of a decision. Now, in a message deliv.e~ed to the Council on 15th August, 1962, the Minister has conveyed the decision that "it would be inappropriate to alter the fees and conditions applicable to the elected members on the basis of the present electorates when the possibility exists that the boundaries of the electorates will be changed in the course of the present redistribution. It is therefore proposed to defer further consideration ..... until after .. the new Council is constituted ...... ". This decision is not only unjust to serving members of the Council, but also requires potential members to offer for election without Imowing what their remuneration will be, and this decision is made without reference to the Cormnonwealth Parliament which created this CounCil. In a resolution passed by the Legislative Council in September 1960, the Federal Government was requested to bring down legi slation relating to the industrial disease, silico s.is; to date no legislation to this end has appeared.