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Thursday, 31 May 1973
Page: 3023


Mr ENDERBY (Australian Capital Territory) (Minister for the Capital Territory and Minister for the Northern Territory) - One who had any knowledge of the facts - the honourable member for the Northern Territory (Mr Calder) does have knowledge of the facts - could be forgiven for being angry at some of the things he said. There was a note of hypocrisy about his remarks. He gave notice of his intention to have the resumption declared null and void on 29 May, which was the day before yesterday, when it was known that this Parliament - which had sat longer than ever before - was determined to rise tonight. As he knows, if the Government had wanted to do what the previous Government did so many times, it need never have brought it on for debate at all and he would have automatically lost. As he said himself, it is a law of long standing, not a law made by the Labor Government. The LiberalCountry Party coalition Government, which was quite properly and rightly ejected from power in December last year, made the Land Acquisition Act. It made the 30-day rule. We could have done what it did to the Aboriginal Embassy - nothing. As a result of the lateness of the notice of intention to move this motion I find myself - the honourable member for Northern Territory is in no small part to blame - with less than 5 minutes to speak, because the Standing Orders require that this sitting shall come to an end.


Mr Sinclair - We are quite happy to meet next week.


Mr ENDERBY - Of course you are. In 4 or 5 minutes I will try to say what happened. In July last year - here is where the hypocrisy comes in - the then Minister for the Interior recommended that the Liberal-Country Party coalition Government do what we have now done. That Government did not proceed with it because it found an election on its hands and it was fighting for its life. It did everything else but it forgot to do that. It swept this matter under the carpet. I repeat that in July 1972 the then Minister for the Interior, who sits in the House tonight, recommended that about 32 square miles of freehold land adjacent to the existing Darwin acquisition area be acquired for future urban development. The previous Government found better things to do. It was fighting for its life in an election. It did not do this. It knew this had to be done. We have done it. The experience of Darwin is well known to honourable members. The population there is growing at a rate of 12 per cent per annum. When I go to Darwin - I go there as often as I can - I find speculators from Canberra there buying the place up.


Mr Nixon - Name them.


Mr ENDERBY - Name them in 4 minutes? I will not name them. Because of that everincreasing urban sprawl the Government decided to do what should be done. No one will suffer from this. No one will come to harm. That has been made clear. But for cheap, shoddy, narrow political reasons the honourable member tries to champion the very persons he has never championed before - the so called little people. There is an increasing urban sprawl in the area. The honourable member knows it; I know it. Regardless of any decision to develop separate towns in other areas, we can do with the aid of the Northern Territory Legislative Council what has been done so successfully in Canberra. The previous Government never wanted to do it. The present land development up there is haphazard and devoid of proper roads and services. Some of those people do not even have good title. They have bought from bodgie land developers who do not have title to confer on them. They have put their life savings into it. The honourable member has the audacity to come along here and talk this hypocritical nonsense.

The honourable member for New England (Mr Sinclair) will know of the Lanyon case wherein the Government with which he was associated did nothing. The people of Canberra, irrespective of what happens, will have to pay 10, 15 or 20 times the rates and charges for their land that they would have had to pay if his Government had done what we have done, 5, 10 or 15 years ago when it should have been done and when that Government was told it should have been done. The asking price is $3 5m. Honourable members opposite know that. The honourable member for Gwydir (Mr Hunt) who was the Minister for the Interior in the previous Government knows it. The asking price for Lanyon is $35m. I was not going to have a Lanyon scandal on my hands, and the Government took action. That will be passed on to the landowners of Canberra.

This matter was put to the previous Government last year. When the High Court decision is known we will know who was right. No one in the Northern Territory will suffer. Those people do not even have electricity. They do not have roads or sewerage. They have nothing. I have been to speak to them. When did the honourable member for the Northern Territory ever speak to them? It is his electorate. I have received deputations saying: 'Good on you. You have done a good job'. Honourable members opposite come along here and stir, and then wait to see what happens. There can be no doubt that what has been done up there has been done in the interests of proper development for the Northern Territory, in the interests of the people who live there and in the interests of giving them sewerage, electricity, lighting, security of title and a good life. They know it. I know it. Those honourable members sitting opposite, who make cries that sound like bankrupt cockatoos on a dead tree, know it too.


Mr King - I think you are getting worked up.


Mr ENDERBY - I am getting worked up when I hear hypocrisy being uttered. It has been made clear that there will be lease back arrangements pending the proper development of this area, the provision of services and the implementation of the Pak-Poy report and all the facilities that this Australian Government can place behind the proper development of the Northern Territory and the proper development of Darwin.

Question put:

That the motion (Mr Carrier's) be agreed to.







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