Territory Stories

Debates and Questions - Day 1 - 24 April 2020



Debates and Questions - Day 1 - 24 April 2020

Other title

Parliamentary Record 27


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 and Questions

Publisher name

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES AND QUESTIONS Friday 24 April 2020 8324 We took those words seriously, but sadly they did not stick to the budget and a bad situation became worse. We ended up with a projection of $6.2bn deficit, rising another $2bn in the following year, with no forecast for how we will get out of this. This is before the pandemic, for goodness sake! Heaven knows what is going on now. You want us to go to an election without any idea, to trust in you, when you cannot even have a Question Time or broaden the agenda to talk about things that are of deep concern to the Territory and the generations to come. Professor Rolf Gerritsen is correct. His words before all of this, in light of the economic situation, were that we were expected, as a community, to trust a government to lead us for the next two election cycles, at the very leastthis was before this crisis. You need good political capital to be able to achieve that. You have just diminished your political capital by the games you are playing in heretoo tricky by half! Your argument about retaining the election in August is implausible. It shows what your objective is. Too tricky by halfto shut down debate in here. It would have been a smart move to have some questions asked of you, even by your backbenchers; that would have sent a good signal. People are not obsessing over what happens in this parliament, but they are noting a smell coming from it and are worried about what comes next. They will be asked to elect a government to help navigate for the next two elections10 years. Lest we forget what happened before this, the state we were in, and you have brought us together to talk about a subset of a smaller issue without any attempt to have democracy respectedhonest and open to scrutinyor the leadership to describe what comes next. There is probably the same little manoeuvring happening on the fifth floor about how to say this or do that in order to put yourselves in a better position than your opponents come August. That is what it feels like, and Territorians will not be taken for fools. They can see this coming a mile off. The Treasurer is probably having sleepless nights; I hope she is. I do not mean that in a nasty way. This is deeply troubling. Maybe it is politically incorrect, but I was so worried about our financial position in 2012, as was the Treasurer, that we had to make politically challenging decisions. The show moves on. These blokes are too tricky by halfthey muck around with it and leak it out at Christmastime when no one is looking. Then they find the situation is far worse than expected. But that confirms the original concern in 2012. Now we have a pandemic and we come in to talk about residential tenancy. The Chief Minister cannot even tell us where we are at and how we will get out of this. He has no plan going forward except for August. How do we get to August? It is pretty disappointing, particularly when people are hurting as they are. They are deeply worried about the future. This is not about our political careers; this is about the children who will inherit the debt left for them to repay. Do not forget that 80% of our income comes from the GST. We are funded by the federal government. Do you think it will all go back to normal? No, it will not. Read your history; it will not go back to normal. If we take a slice of the GST pie, the pie will be a bit smaller. It might even increase to 15%. Nonetheless, with a devastated and broken economy nationally and in the Territorysocially, too, perhapswe will have even less own-source revenue. Where is the explanation, or do we just have to hang on? The book is closed; just trust the government. That will not happen. You are storing up an almighty challenge for yourselves and Territorians are taking note. Mr COLLINS (Fong Lim): Madam Speaker, I support the intent of the legislation. Territory Alliance does not oppose the measures. The manner in which the government has gone through the process, however, needs to be questioned. I pick up on what the Member for Blain was saying in that we already had a guillotine used here this morning. We had an emergency sitting of this parliament to rush through this legislation without any scrutiny, without any proper consideration of it. We had a briefing yesterday afternoon, but when it comes down to it, our job is to scrutinise what is going through parliament. To suggest that we can call an emergency meeting on a Friday to push through these pieces of legislation, and that there is no other opportunity to scrutinise them properly, is incorrect. That is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of us as members of the Assembly and representatives of our constituents. In the end, they are the ones who need to know what is going on in this place. They do that through us and through the reporting of this place.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain the names, voices and images of people who have died, as well as other culturally sensitive content. Please be aware that some collection items may use outdated phrases or words which reflect the attitude of the creator at the time, and are now considered offensive.

We use temporary cookies on this site to provide functionality.
By continuing to use this site without changing your settings, you consent to our use of cookies.