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Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Page: 6172


Mrs GRIGGS (Solomon) (22:00): It is with concern that I rise to speak tonight on the alarming number of mistruths and misrepresentations that the Gillard government's Territory-endorsed Labor Party candidate is spreading around the electorate of Solomon, in Darwin and Palmerston. The recent scare campaign by the Labor Party on GST revenue disappearing from the Territory is absolutely false and is making them look foolish to the people of Solomon. Territorians know that Chief Minister Adam Giles and I will stand up for the Territory and that the Chief Minister is in no discussions with any state premier to change the GST distribution model. Absolutely nothing can happen to the GST until all states and territories agree. I will repeat that: nothing at all can happen unless all states and territories agree. The truth is that our GST revenue is most under threat from the incompetent management of the Australian economy by the Gillard Labor government.

Let us turn to Gonski. Labor mistruths are even being spread by Labor ministers themselves when they visit my great city. The Gonski funding model is now being spun as the National Plan for School Improvement. Why? Because David Gonski requested Labor remove his name from the proposed funding model, as it was not reflective of his recommendations in the Gonski review. The Labor candidate for Solomon was out spruiking the Gonski model to the students and parents of Stuart Park Primary School, when in fact Stuart Park Primary School will not be advantaged if the Northern Territory signs up to the current Labor plan. In fact, Stuart Park is one of the 22 out of the 54 schools in my electorate that will not be advantaged if the Northern Territory signs up to Labor's Gonski plan. This is not a Gonski; it is a 'Conski.' And that is why the Northern Territory has not signed up to this model.

The NBN is another area where the Gillard Labor government spins mistruths to the people of Darwin and Palmerston. The coalition's plan is to complete the NBN as quickly and as cost effectively as possible, using a mix of technologies that will provide high speed at reasonable costs. Unfortunately, the Labor Party want to mislead my electorate and are out spruiking the fact that the NBN has finally been connected in the Darwin CBD, which is not where it is needed. It is most needed in the suburbs of Darwin and Palmerston, but it has been linked up to the CBD, which already has the highest connection speeds. The Gillard Labor government and its candidate are going around telling fibs about the real cost of the coalition's plan. The truth is that, under the coalition's plan, it will not cost the average homeowner $5,000 to connect to the NBN. These are just more mistruths being put out there by the Labor government.

More recently, the coalition and the community has questioned the safety of the NBN works in our urban areas. The highest priority for NBN Co. and the government must be the safety of the workers constructing the NBN and the communities where work is well underway. The Gillard Labor government should have prepared the community for this and should have been upfront about the dangers that that may present to the NBN workers and the community. In Darwin last week we saw asbestos being dug out of pits, but the community was not made aware of that.

Let us turn to the Palmerston Hospital. As I have said many times in this place the Country Liberals have always maintained that a hospital in Palmerston must be built to deal with growth in the community. But it does not stop the Labor Party from spruiking the mistruths that the Country Liberals have abandoned the idea of the Palmerston Hospital and are having people sign a false petition. The coalition has never said that the $70 million, allocated to the Territory government to invest in a long-term plan for health care, would be taken away. The claims of the Gillard Labor government and their candidates to the contrary are absolutely fabricated.

Labor's scaremongering tactics fool no-one and the people of Darwin and Palmerston are much smarter than the Labor Party give them credit for. Regardless of how hard the Labor people in the Territory try to distance themselves from the Rudd-Gillard Labor government, they just cannot. They are Australian Labor Party through and through!