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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 8337 Ms FYLES: Yes. Mr WOOD: That was simple. Thank you. Mrs FINOCCHIARO: The reason I asked about commencement was because I wanted to ask about the NTCAT. My understanding is that the NTCAT is only processing emergency-type applications at the moment and has had to pull back its ordinary schedule due to COVID-19. If this legislation commenced as soon as practicable, what is the practical impact of the NTCAT taking on more responsibility at a time when it is doing less than it normally would anyway? Ms FYLES: I acknowledge that we have a range of government agencies and services that have had to change the way they deal with the delivery of services. You have seen that in the NTCAT, the Local Court and the Supreme Court. But we have to allow aspects to go on. We believe that this is being balanced in the right approach to the correct jurisdiction of the three agencies. Of course, during this health emergency, it is difficult. At different stages we will see different measures. We already see that across Australia. Looking at Tasmania, for example, one part of the state is in complete lockdown whereas others areas are not. It is a juggle; we are in a difficult emergency. Mrs FINOCCHIARO: We have to be conscious of the fact people availing themselves of this legislation will already be in a vulnerable and aggrieved state. They would have already made attempts to resolve things. These things could be potentially combatant by that stage. If we are then forcing people into a situation that is very well intentioned as I said in my speechwhere there are major delays in accessing the only process available, we are causing more pain, delay, cost and hardship. It is really important for that process to be worked through in order to allow smooth processing. Ms FYLES: I am conscious of those comments. A range of government agency services have been impacted by COVID-19. The NTCAT is putting arrangements in place as best it can to deal with matters in a timely manner. Clauses 5 to 10 taken together and agreed to. After clause 10: Mrs FINOCCHIARO: I move amendment 1 to insert a new clause after clause 10. Around February this year, the government brought amendments to legislation which included what has become known Ms FYLES: The dog snob. Here we go! Mrs FINOCCHIARO: The calibre of debate has descended before my eyes once again. We have the Attorney-General denigrating Ms FYLES: This is COVID-19 emergency legislation and you want to talk about how you do not like pets! Mrs FINOCCHIARO: I have a petition of more than 8300 people, and you are denigrating something they care about. I intend to be very quick, Attorney-Generalmuch quicker than the Member for Sanderson Ms FYLES: A point of order, Mr Acting Deputy Speaker! The dog snobwe are in an emergency sitting of parliament. It is an unprecedented, extraordinary day to pass important legislation and ensure Territorians can maintain their business tenancies and have a roof over their head and you want to talk about how you do not like animals. Dog snob! Mr ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKER: Get to talking about the amendment, please, Opposition Leader. Mrs FINOCCHIARO: That was extremely unparliamentary. This is causing uncertainty, is relevant to the legislation, is something that many thousands of people care about and it can be dealt with right now. In fact, to bring it back to the COVID context, the Attorney-General said last week, We will not allow the commencement of that legislationthe amendments we made in Februarybecause it creates uncertainty at this time of COVID. You are right, Attorney-General. It creates uncertainty at this time, but it creates uncertainty all the time. That is why I am saying that we should remove these two sections of the legislation that encroach on the rights of landlords and mum-and-dad property investors and causes uncertainty by your own admission. You have