Debates and Questions Day 2 - 8 May 2019
Parliamentary Record 19
Debates and Questions for 13th Assembly 2019 - 2020; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES AND QUESTIONS Wednesday 8 May 2019 6064 Lastly, agriculture is an area that always misses out a fair bit in the budget. The minister talked about upgrading roads. There is always the need to upgrade roads. When you say that $15.9m will be spent on the Tablelands Highwayif you divide that by about one million you might get 19 kilometres of road. If you have been along the Tablelands Highway you would know it is a lot longer than 19 kilometres. It takes a long time to upgrade roads. I am not knocking itit is good that the government has also put money in for mango roads in the Litchfield area. Both sides of the federal government have promised some money. One has promised money in a global sense, the other has said it will be for those roads. That is important when it comes to investing in horticulture and agriculture. One thing that is missing in the discussion Mr SIEVERS: Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 43, I move that an extension of time be granted to the Member for Nelson. Motion agreed to. Mr WOOD: An area that we have missed, as it has come out in the debate on low aquifers in the rural area, when it comes to agricultureI have been getting emails from people about not damming the Roper River. I do not know what the concept is, but if we want to develop horticulture and agriculture and not be limited by aquifersonce the amount that has been taken out of there and the licences are at maximum, where do we get water from? We have to look at ways including off-river dams, or small dams that will not affect the flow of a major river. If we want to develop agriculture as a long-term part of our economywater is essential. Whether we are growing soybeans, cotton or mung beans, or have irrigated pastures, we need water. Without water we cannot have sustainable agriculture. If you just rely on natural rainfall, it can be intermittent at timesit is either heavy or light. You need irrigation to make sure there is certainty when you are growing a crop. That is an area I would like to hear more about. Minister Kirby mentioned it, but there needs to be more work. There is a lot more I could say about the budget. The report on repairing the budget, which Mr Langoulant wrote, was about the pathway to surplus. I am disappointed that that pathway to surplus was not reflected in the budget. There could have been a lot more effort to show how you will go down the path to create a surpluswhich was promised in 201920 by the Treasurer, but now is at least 10 years down the track. We need to see the government doing exactly what Mr Langoulant said. Mr McCONNELL (Stuart): Madam Speaker, I take this opportunity to speak in response to the budget. What the Northern Territory desperately needs at this time, more than ever, is some actual leadership. If we had some strong leadership, we would have built a national Indigenous art and culture centre in Alice Springs by now. The reason why we have not built a national Indigenous art and culture centre in Alice Springs Ms Lawler: Because you undermine Mr McCONNELL: You should take some time to listen. This is something I know quite a lot about and have been involved in for a long time. You can cackle and carry on, and cost the future of Alice Springs by your inability to deliver this, but here are some home truths. Recently, the federal Leader of the Opposition, who I sincerely hope will be the Prime Minister in a couple of weeks time, did a tour around Mona in Tasmania. When the Leader of the Opposition toured around Mona he made an offer of $50m towards further development of Mona. If there had been some leadership coming from this Labor government in the Northern Territory, we could have had a discussion about a piece of national cultural infrastructure in Alice Springsa national Indigenous art and culture centre. We could have had some significant buy-in from the Commonwealth opposition or the government that is in power now. But because of the lack of leadership, the hubris and the willingness to divide and try to conquer people by causing disagreements in a small-scale argument about Alice Springs, we have lost sight of the fact that this is a nationally-significant cultural centre. The ability to deliver this has been ruined by a lack of leadership from the Gunner Labor government and most particularly from Michael Gunner Ms Wakefield: Shame on you, Scott McConnell. I know what you said privately!
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