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Wednesday, 15 August 2007
Page: 34


Senator CROSSIN (11:47 AM) —I understand that a number of weeks ago Minister Elliot McAdam in the Northern Territory urged this government to look at a debt that is owed to the Commonwealth government. It is a hangover from self-government days. I think that around $92 million or $94 million is still owed to the Commonwealth as a result of self-government. It goes back to a debt—right back to 1978—that the Northern Territory government and successive governments have been paying off each year. There was a suggestion from Elliot McAdam that the Commonwealth write off this debt in return for the Territory government putting that money towards Indigenous housing. Has any thought been given to that offer from the Northern Territory government? This is apart from the additional $100 million they have committed; this would be an additional $92 million on top of that $100 million. Has any thought been given to those representations from the Northern Territory government? If not, why not?