Comments from the Barkly
Once again confidence has been shown in
the economy of Tennant Creek with the opening of the new Orlando Furniture
store on the main street. Long term residents and businessmen Paul and
Rodney Ruger have invested a considerable sum of money to bring to the
residents of Tennant Creek and the Barkly region a modern, well laid
out facility exhibiting the latest in home decor.
The opening proved to be a huge success with up to three hundred people
attending on the night and if sales continue along the same line as
was witnessed in the initial days of operation, then the people of Tennant
Creek will exhibit the same confidence in the economy of our town. (Well
done to the Ruger family).
Over the last few weeks we have witnessed some changes in the local
Police force with two new Sergeants taking up positions in the town.
The new arrivals are Sergeant Joe Smith and his wife Senior Station
Sergeant Gillian Smith who has taken over from Senior Sergeant Bob Rennie
who has been transferred back to Darwin. Gillian is only the second
female officer to command a police station in the Territory and they
are looking forward to their time in Tennant Creek.
Station Sergeant Bob Jeffries of Avon Downs and Senior Constable Mick
Adams have both received service awards from the force for their commitment
to policing in the Territory. Congratulations boys.
One of the most successful meetings I have attended at the Civic Centre
in a long time was between the residents, community groups, Aboriginal
Councils, the business community and the Police to discuss the problems
that we see in our daily lives on the main streets of the town. The
outcomes of the meeting include the provision of regular foot patrols
of Paterson Street between the hours of 10:00am and 6:00pm daily, excluding
Thursday and Sunday. The two officers involved have already shown that
this measure has had beneficial effect in the reduction of the problems
discussed at the meeting.
Have the residents of Tennant Creek noticed the influx from down south
of unemployed would-be greenies on their footloose and fancy free travels
at taxpayer expense to protest at the mine site of Jabiluka?
Is this a ploy by Mr Beazley to slow down the economic development of
the Territory? In Mr Beazley's own words during a recent trip to the
Top End, he made the statement that "if legal and environmental
processes were not completed by the time of the next election and no
contracts had been signed, then it would not go ahead if we were elected
to power". In a time when Australia needs to be creating as much
export industry as possible and jobs for our unemployed, Mr Beazley
is willing to prohibit the creation of hundreds of jobs and the earning
of billions of dollars for the economy. Would the next target be the
Darwin to Adelaide railway or more of the same extravagant and wasteful
spending as was witnessed through thirteen years of Labor Government?
For those of you who may be unaware, the Spice Girls are no longer five,
More accountability needed in government
Maggie Hickey, Member for Barkly
Did you know that the conservative governments of the
Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland conducted public
opinion polling on native title last year? And did you know that this
polling, which underpinned the CLP's native title scare campaign during
the Territory election, cost Territory taxpayers almost $50,000?
Did you know that the Treasurer failed to take into account a superannuation
spending blowout last year of $16 million?
Did you know that the increased power and water charges announced last
month are only part of the story and that some Territory households
will be paying even more than the announced 15% increase in water charges
from July 1st?
Did you know that almost half of the $125 million worth of Transport
and Works contracts were exempted from normal tendering processes?
Open tendering is critical to give all contractors a chance to get work
- but more importantly it ensures taxpayers get the best price and value
All these matters and many more came to light due to the Labor Opposition's
persistent questioning of Country Liberal Ministers following the Territory
Individually these may appear to be minor matters but added together,
they represent questionable administration of public monies.
This is especially true in a climate of economic downturn among our
near neighbours which is increasingly affecting our domestic economy.
Live cattle exports are almost at a standstill, horticultural product
exporters are desperately seeking alternative markets and oil and gas
developments in the Timor Sea are not moving at the pace originally
Government must remain involved in the big ticket development projects
for the Territory, but they should never take their eye off the basics.
Providing Territorians with quality health, education, housing and essential
services becomes even more critical in periods of economic uncertainty.