Territory Stories

Debates and Questions Day 2 - 8 May 2019



Debates and Questions Day 2 - 8 May 2019

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Parliamentary Record 19


Debates and Questions for 13th Assembly 2019 - 2020; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory




Debates; Questions

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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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 AND QUESTIONS Wednesday 8 May 2019 6077 Budget 201920 Seniors, Pensioners and Carers Mrs FINOCCHIARO to MINISTER for TERRITORY FAMILIES This budget cuts $9m directly from seniors, pensioners and carers due in part from: lower than expected take-up following scheme reforms. After all the time and expense of the consultation, why is the scheme not being taken up? You promised it would be accessible. You promised seniors and pensioners would not lose a dime under the new scheme, and a corner stone of the reform was to expand the reach of the concessions. Why have you broken your promises? Why are you slugging pensioners, carers and seniors with this massive cut instead of trying reach more of them? ANSWER Madam Speaker, I thank the Deputy Opposition Leader very much for the chance to talk about how much we value senior Territorians in this budget and how we have doubled the concessions going to them. We have backed senior Territorians. There was a significant amount of reform to deliver since we came to government, because the chaos of the previous government meant that we inherited a database that was not accurate. We have talked to senior Territorians, we have sent them letters and we have made sure that they have been properly signed up. This is about making sure we have effective systems that work. By doing that we have saved some money, because there are not as many seniors on the database who are actively using the scheme. It is as simple as that. We have an accurate database, which means that we can have an accurate prediction in our budget. We know what we are spending, where we are spending it and who we are spending it on. We have their addresses and their contact details. We are in regular contact with senior Territorians, and they know the scheme is working. I met with National Seniors last week to talk about those issues. The issues they raised were in regard to the cuts by your mates in Canberra. They cannot get services or financial advice from Centrelink anymore. They were coming in and saying, We are happy with the scheme; we want more things on the scheme. I am very proud of the fact that through the senior recognition scheme, people can use the money flexibly. They can use it for travel or they can put it on their daily expenses. They are things that have an impact on seniors, and we understand that. Not only do we provide a $1200 Power and Water support for every family in the Northern Territory, but we also provide concessions for pensioners. Anyone over 65 gets $500 a year that they can apply to their power bill. This is a good news story. Yet, over the other side they seem to twist it and not understand the budget papers. We support senior Territorians. You cut them off when you were in government. You slashed the number of senior Territorians who could access any money. We doubled it and made sure it was flexible. We back senior Territorians because we understand what they contribute to our community. They volunteer, contribute to childcare and make sure people stay in the Territory. We recognise their contribution to the Territory and will continue to do so. Humpty Doo Industrial Subdivision Mr WOOD to MINISTER for INFRASTRUCTURE, PLANNING and LOGISTICS Some years ago the government released land near Spencely Road, Humpty Doo to a developer to build an industrial subdivision to reduce the pressure on rural lots being used for industrial development. Have any blocks been released, and if not, can you say when this development will finally get off the ground?

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