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 6053 Treasurer, you said that your government was restoring trust and addressing population lossand the classic, government will build a bridge to a better future, and your government was, determined to demonstrate ongoing fiscal discipline to improve the budget bottom line. Budget 2019 is the worst budget in the Territorys history. It has seen the governments net debt jump by the highest amount in the Territorys history. A $2bn increase in net debt in just 12 months proves incompetence and cannot be dismissed by saying it is an accounting standard change. That is simply untrue. At the end of this financial year the expected debt will be $6.2bn. This leaves our net debt-to-revenue ratio at 93%. When we handed over the books the ratio was 27%. This is a key measure of the Territorys ability to service our debt. I warned previously that we were on the road to insolvency. This is even worse than I feared. It will take a million dollars a day to pay the interest on the debt. Policy changes, or the governments social reform experiments, have worsened the Territorys fiscal position by almost $600m over 12 months. Our Territory is a house built on shaky foundations. More than 70% of NT Government funding comes from the Commonwealth. In the rest of Australia more than 80% of jobs are in the private sector, but in the NT it is not even 50%. We have enough onshore gas to supply the entire energy needs of Australia for 500 years. We should be building high-tech petrochemical or fertiliser manufacturing industries here. We should be incentivising companies to use our extensive gas reserves for manufacturing purposes with inherent wealth and job creation. The opposition believes that at this time of economic and fiscal crisis, with a government spending $4m every daymore than it hasit should be a governments priority to make it easier, not harder, to invest in the Territory. The Territory is broke and we are living beyond our means. Today I pledge to Territorians that a CLP government will end the waste, axe the lazy Labor taxes, and build the roads and other infrastructure of the 21stcentury. Under a CLP government there will be a smaller government. Only programs that benefit Territorians will be funded. It is time to get things done in the Territory. As a community we must show the world that we want private sector investment. The CLP is the only party with a plan and the track record to deliver a diversified economy. We will build the foundational infrastructure for a globally significant and competitive onshore oil and gas industry. We will invest in transformational water infrastructure such as dams, off-stream storage, managed aquifer recharge programs and water networks. Other than the underground car park, which has had no cost-benefit analysis let alone an operational model, the opposition supports the completion of the State Square project. We will put making money before spending money at the heart of our government. We will focus on growing the Territorys revenue, not through increased taxes and destroying our lifestyle, but by growing our economy through private sector investment. It is time for common sense and discipline to come back to government. We need to make more than we spend because, ultimately, we cannot provide what we cannot afford. Read my lips: there will be no cuts to frontline staff. We will reduce the price Territorians pay for government service and remove the silos that dominate government service delivery. We will reduce the waste and speed up government approval processes. We will reduce the debt burden and return the budget to surplus in less than a decade. The CLP believe a small government is a good government because we trust Territorians to spend their money better than government can. We make this promise to all small and medium Territory businesses. We will review your payroll tax with a view to abolishing it once we see the true state of the Territory finances. We will review all the alcohol reform measures imposed by the government to see what has been effective and what has not. We will scrap the floor price for alcohol and bin the useless MyFuel NT website waste. We will also scrap the hybrid mining tax and the vacant and derelict property tax. We will ensure there is strategic investment which creates sustainable employment in the private sector. We will invest in a diversified portfolio of infrastructure-related projects, such as beef and mango roads, that generate real wealth and unlock opportunity. Under a CLP government, with the budget in the black, we will back Police by reinstating work on the police exam for sergeant. We will reinstate sworn officers in the intelligence unit and put youth justice back with Corrections. We will cut nine ministers to eight, get rid of

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