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Debates and Questions - Day 1 - 24 April 2020



Debates and Questions - Day 1 - 24 April 2020

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Parliamentary Record 27


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




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Debates and 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 Friday 24 April 2020 8323 Questioning the measures that we have in place will in turn result in a reduced level of safety for our entire community. If there is one thing this parliament must do it is to keep our community safe. The only way we can keep our community and constituents safe is to be honest with them, accept that some people have elected othersIndependents and oppositionto represent them and that those people may have questions of your government. They are legitimate questions. Ms Lawler interjecting. Mr McCONNELL: I get really sick of this interjecting rubbish. I am speaking respectfully to this parliament. If you have something to say, pull me aside and say it to me; do not just be nasty. There is no need to be nasty. Do not be nasty to me as a representative of my constituents. Do the right thing. Represent the Territory. We are in difficult times. I have spoken very well of you, your Cabinet and your Chief Minister. You do not need to have little snide remarks at me. Take me seriously, take Territorians seriously and be respectful in this place. Mr MILLS (Blain): Madam Speaker, we attend the parliament as representatives of our community and participate in good faith with the belief that the central objective is to advance and prosper the true welfare of all Territorians. At this point there is an issue that needs to be dealt with. It has been explained by governmentwe have to take it largely on face value because there is inadequate time to properly scrutinise every aspect. You put it into a context where you argued it is not possible so the only thing you can trade on is trust, which is an issue that is essential for the next phase. The next phase is not the next election. The next phase is the next decade of recovery. To have no effort made to set a bigger context here or a word from the Chief Minister to say, We will deal with this because we need to. Weve received instructions from command central with all the lines, scripts and the strategies that have been put in placehe is delivering those well. But there is more to this. This is not just fixing up a little thing with a view to how we position ourselves politically for the next election, which you are determined to run in August. Why is that? Your slip is showing. People know why you want to do that. Your motive is quite plain; it is a political one. You are attempting to reduce scrutiny, heighten the anxiety of the community and trade in that space to your political advantage. Territorians are beginning to become deeply troubled about the freedoms that they have lost, in good faith, to a government because we all accept there is a health crisis. But they are beginning to wonder when and how this changes. Is government committed to the recovery phase or only to the political phase? It is becoming clearer. I saw an ABC interview last night; the Chief Minister did not answer well. It was coming out in plain view. We are determinedfor arguments that are really unconvincingto go to the election in August, without any scrutiny or any understanding of the budgetary position for the Northern Territory. We have not forgotten that we came into this with an appalling quality of economic managementin recession. We have the words of the Chief Minister in a number of well-scripted lines I will quote. Prior to the pandemic, he was quoted by the ABC as saying, In the light of the economic crisis most hard-working landlords and rent payers know that money you pay comes from somewhere and if you have to borrow it you have to pay it back. They know that, they live in that real world. Many of my friends, either side of the equation, are really hurting at the moment. The relationship between a landlord and a tenant, in our small community, is a good one, but it has been stressed to the max. Sure, we can deal with that. They all know that money borrowed has to be repaid. In response to the Langoulant reportjust to give people a reminder of what is to come post this. Where is the guidance? Where is the leadership from government to widen the lens and provide us with a path forward? These are only words, as the Bee Gees song goesthe ABC quoted the Chief Ministers response to the economic crisis: What we are essentially saying to people is you cant go past your budget. Any dollar over your budget is actually fictional money. Its not there, we cant borrow it, it does not exist. You have got to stick to your budget.