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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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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES AND QUESTIONS Friday 24 April 2020 8332 Ms FYLES: We have sought a lot of advice from the Solicitor-General. The advice is that we should not get into that detail at this stage. But in preparing this legislation we made sure we had the highest-level legal advice in the Territory. Mrs FINOCCHIARO: Has government done any work on the estimated duplication cost of claims that may arise? Ms FYLES: The whole intention of the act is to implement the recommendations of the National Cabinet principles, but keep any liability to the Northern Territory an absolute minimum. It has been a lot of hard work. As a lawyer, you would understand this, Leader of the Opposition, perhaps more than most. We have tried to keep that liability to the Territory, but make sure that Territory businesses and renters can have those principles enacted. Mrs FINOCCHIARO: With respect to 11G(3)this is my last question on clause 5, but I believe other members have questions on that clausemodification of costs continue to apply even after the emergency period has expired. If ancillary claims arising out of a claim that commenced during the emergency period end up in courtthat are part of the same proceedingswould the modification still apply if things are not resolved within the period? Ms FYLES: The intention is that if proceedings had started, it is designed to give someone a sense of what the cost would be. Mr WOOD: I note the minister mentioned the hard-working members of the staff. I agree entirely with her, but that does not mean we do not work hard to work out what they have given us. Right? We need time to look at it. Listening to the Leader of the Opposition, who must have a fine legal background herself, you can realise how complex it is. There have been issues raised there that I could not have pulled out of here in the time given. This is complicated, which is why I am a great fan of scrutiny committees and time to go through it in committee stage. My first question is more a general question on section 11B, which is the ministers power in emergency period. I have to do it in relation to what the Chief Minister said when talking about this change. Is there anything here saying that if you become part of these negotiations as a business, for instance, that you will get payroll tax, power and water bill reductions? Part of this is to promote businesses to negotiate. Will it be that, if you negotiate, you will get reductions in water, power and sewerage bills and abolish payroll tax for six months? Should there not be something in this bill saying that you will get this if you do that? Ms FYLES: You are correct, but it is the conditions of accessing those benefits. This is the law about this and then to access the other entitlements, incentiveswhatever you want to call themyou have to follow this. That is how it is approached. Mr WOOD: Where will we find those conditions written down? This is only a media statement I am reading from. Ms FYLES: The departments of Trade, Business and Innovation is working through all the different packages to help businesses and individuals. They have strict conditions for their eligibility and that is where it is included. Mr WOOD: The other question I raised in my opening speech. A business is not penalised if it does not want to become part of the negotiations? Ms FYLES: They are not penalised, but they would not be able to access the incentives. Mr WOOD: That is what I am saying. You cannot force a business. If a landlord is happy with the conditions that already apply to their premises they cannot be forced into the situation. Say, for instance, a renter has a problem but if the landlord does not want to negotiate, there is nothing that says the landlord has to negotiate. Ms FYLES: The landlord would not be able to access those incentives. We would expect that in this economic crisis people will do everything they can to keep a tenant. As you outlined in that scenario, they would not be able to access incentives. We have been very up front about them. Mr WOOD: That is fine. I am not advocating that landlords and tenants do not negotiate. Landlords also have problems. If my phone worked before I would have read you the letter I received from a landlord who is struggling. I spoke to one of the tenants who told me that the landlord has said, Pay what you can, because