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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 8343 We are incredibly grateful this week for our children to be able to head back to school. The work our teachers have done to support them so that our children can learn in the classroombut at the drop of the hat, they are prepared to teach them online. For the people listening in, they are shaking their heads on the other side. They claim that this is annoying and it is somehow my fault that I am not letting them table a petition. Mr Mills: For a simple petition. Ms FYLES: It is a simple petition? We are in a health emergency, a crisis that has caused an economic crisis and you want to come in here and debate petitions. We will keep on with the task. We will not be accepting the suspension of standing orders. We have an important piece of legislation before us that will allow for people who do the wrong thing by intentionally coughing and spitting at our workers to be fined. This legislation supports our Chief Health Officer in doing his job. We do not support the suspension of standing orders today. Mrs LAMBLEY (Araluen): Madam Speaker, I support the suspension of standing orders to allow the tabling of the Leader of the Oppositions petition. It would have taken a couple of minutes. Instead, we have heard a 10-minute speech from the Attorney-General as to why a two-minute tabling of a petition cannot take place, which seems quite ironic when you think about it. There is no reason why the Leader of the Oppositions petition should not be tabled; it is a brief process. We have all seen it happen before. I have a petition I would like to table today. It is a very important petition pertaining to the residents of Alice Springs. It is about their health, welfare, the prevention of crime and child protection. It is a very important issue for the people of Alice Springs. If I do not table it today, when will I get to table it? We have been given no indication of when, or even if, parliament will sit in the future. It is important that this placethe parliament of the Northern Territoryis reflective of the people of the Northern Territory, that they have a voice and are not excluded from today or any other day in which we sit in this esteemed Chamber. What we are seeing in parliament today is appalling. I believe this government has taken things to a new low. This is not democratic, transparent or allowing the people of the Northern Territory to have a voice. That is why we are all here; your voice is no more important than ours on this side of the Chamber. We represent people. Yes we are here today, first and foremost, to talk about the impact of the Coronavirus on Territorians and pass legislation to help people who have been severely affected by this Coronavirus. That is not in dispute. But to take a couple of minutes to table petitions is really neither here nor there. You are allowing adjournment speeches tonight. Let us see what they contain. Let us hear the topics of the adjournment speeches from your members, Attorney-General. You seem to think that the content of the Leader of the Oppositions petition is inconsequential, irrelevant and not important. I disagree. How many people do you have on that Mrs Finocchiaro: It is 8300. Mrs LAMBLEY: Eight-thousand, three hundred Territorians signed a petition that they feel very strongly about. You are in parliament today, Attorney-General, telling us that those 8300 petitionersand I have a petition here that contains 2200 signatures. You are saying you do not want to hear the voices of over 10 000 people in parliament, which would take a total of five minutes of your time. This is not democracy, it is political opportunism and making sure that your agenda is pushed through parliament today and no one elses. It is muting the voices of over 10 000 Territorians. Shame on you! Mr Mills: That is nearly two-and-a-half electorates. Mrs LAMBLEY: Yes, it is equivalent to voters in two electorates of the Northern Territory. Shame on you! What we are seeing here today is disgraceful. There is to be no Question Time and now they will not even take a few minutes out of the agenda to table a couple of petitions.