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Pre-selection statement by Senator Grant Tambling to NT Country Liberal Party Central Council



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PRE-SELECTION STATEMENT BY SENATOR GRANT TAMBLING

TO NT COUNTRY LIBERAL PARTY CENTRAL COUNCIL 28 FEBRUARY 1998

WHEN THE COUNTRY LIBERAL PARTY PRE-SELECTED ME FOR MY FIRST SENATE ELECTION (1987) I MADE A NUMBER OF COMMITMENTS VERY SPECIFIC TO THE TERRITORY; THE ROLE I ENVISAGED IN THE PARLIAMENT; THE MANAGEMENT OF THE MEDIA AND THE NEEDS OF

OUR SPECIAL PARTY, THE CLP.

I BELIEVE I CAN CONFIDENTLY CLAIM TO HAVE HONOURED ALL OF THOSE COMMITMENTS VIGOROUSLY AND WITH IMAGINATION - ESPECIALLY IN THE TOO LONG A PERIOD OF OPPOSITION BEFORE THE LAST FEDERAL ELECTION. FIGHTING AGAINST LABOR’S

INSIDIOUS FORM OF GOVERNMENT AND LOUSY ECONOMICS WAS DEMANDING, AND CERTAINLY FINE-TUNED ME AND MANY OTHER LIBERALS AND NATIONALS FOR THE WORK AND RESULTS WE HAVE ACHIEVED IN THE HOWARD GOVERNMENT IN THE PAST TWO YEARS.

IT IS A PLEASURE TO REPRESENT YOU IN WHAT IS UNDOUBTEDLY AUSTRALIA’S MOST REFORMIST GOVERNMENT.

IN THE (RED COVERED) FOLDER DISTRIBUTED EARLIER THIS MORNING I HAVE COMBINED A CENTRAL COUNCIL REPORT AND DETAILS OF THE ISSUES, SENATE LEGISLATION AND ACTIVITIES OF MY OFFICE WHICH ARE CURRENTLY IMPACTING ON THE TERRITORY AND MY JOB AS YOUR SENATOR AND AS PARLIAMENTARY

SECRETARY. I HOPE IT WILL HELP CONVINCE YOU TO RE-ENDORSE ME AGAIN.

YOU WILL NOTE THAT WE ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ON OVER 100 SIGNIFICANT PROJECTS COVERING EVERY REGION OF THE NT - AND JUST ABOUT EVERY CONSTITUENCY GROUP OR ORGANISATION. I SAY “WE_ ARE CURRENTLY WORKING” ADVISEDLY - I AM ALWAYS

GRATEFUL FOR THE ADVICE AND INTERACTION WITH SO MANY CLP MEMBERS, CLP MINISTERS AND CLP MLA’S - AND I CERTAINLY COULDN’T DO THE JOB WITHOUT THE GREAT SUPPORT OF MY WIFE (SANDY), MY PROFESSIONAL¬∑ STAFF TEAM OF 6 (ALL TERRITORIANS OR FORMER TERRITORIANS) AND IN THE PAST TWO YEARS THE COMPLEMENTARY PARTNERSHIP WITH NICK DONDAS.

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IT IS DIFFICULT TO POINT OUT HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PAST TWO YEARS OF HOWARD GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES BECAUSE THE FAMILIAR PRIORITIES LIKE THE RAILWAY, STATEHOOD, EUTHANASIA, AND ABORIGINAL LANDRIGHTS, STAND OUT LIKE BEACONS - THEY ARE ALWAYS THERE, AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE OUR GREAT ICONS.

HOWEVER, I AM JUST AS PLEASED TO BE ABLE TO CLAIM SOME OF THE CREDIT FOR THE INCREASES IN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SPENDING AND CAPITAL WORKS OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS. IT HAS NOT BEEN EASY TO DEAL WITH 55 DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES AND GET WELL OVER 10% EXTRA FOR EACH OF THE PAST TWO YEARS IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY WHEN NATIONALLY THE

BUDGET, OUT OF NECESSITY, HAS BEEN DRAMATICALLY SLASHED AND BURNT. IF YOU LOOK AT THE EXPENSE SPREADSHEET IN THE FOLDER YOU CAN SEE THE DETAILS OF THE NOW $1.5 BILLION WHICH NICK DONDAS AND I ARE CONSTANTLY LOBBYING FOR (PLUS OF

COURSE THE $1.3 BILLION STATE FUNDING CHANNELLED TO SHANE STONE AND THE TERRITORY MINISTERS). THE STRUCTURAL AND STAFF REFORMS TO THE AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC SERVICE AND THE CHANGES TO DELIVERY OF GOVERNMENT SERVICES, MANY PRIVATISED, HAVE BEEN PROFOUND BUT WELL HANDLED IN THE NT.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE COMMONWEALTH CONTRIBUTIONS THROUGH THE ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS AND DEFENCE PORTFOLIOS IN THE NT SHOULD NEVER BE UNDER-ESTIMATED. I PROBABLY SPEND 40% OF MY TIME ON THESE TWO AREAS ALONE.

MY ELECTORATE OFFICE IS ALWAYS EXTREMELY BUSY AND SUCCESSFUL IN HANDLING A SURPRISING NUMBER OF CONSTITUENT INQUIRIES COVERING IMMIGRATION, SOCIAL SECURITY, FAMILY LAW

MATTERS AND, INCREASINGLY, A HEAVY DEMAND FOR TAX REFORM AND POLICY INFORMATION AND HELP FROM THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY. I BELIEVE WE DO HAVE A REAL FINGER ON THE PULSE OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY, AND THERE IS VERY LITTLE

UNFINISHED OR UNATTENDED BUSINESS.

WHERE TO IN THE FUTURE? IT IS DIFFICULT AND UNWISE TO CRYSTAL BALL TOO MUCH ABOUT WHAT COMES NEXT, OR WHAT PRIORITIES WE SHOULD BE SETTING AS A PARTY OR INDIVIDUAL TERRITORIANS, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO

SHARE WITH YOU FOUR CHALLENGES OR DREAMS THAT I WOULD LIKE TO CONCENTRATE ON AS YOUR SENATOR IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS. (THE MAGICAL YEAR 2000 AND THE CENTENARY OF FEDERATION IN 2001 WILL, I BELIEVE, TAKE CARE OF THE RAILWAY’

AND ‘STATEHOOD’).

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MY FOUR PRIORITIES ARE :

PRIVATE SECTOR AND SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

THE EXPANSION AND RELEVANCE OF TERTIARY AND POST SCHOOL EDUCATION

ENABLING ABORIGINES TO LIVE IN TWO CULTURES, BUT AS PROUD TERRITORIANS WITH HIGH STANDARDS OF HEALTH AND LIVING

AND -

LIFTING OUR EFFORTS IN IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF OUR LIFESTYLE IN THE URBAN COMMUNITIES OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY.

I COULD EASILY SPEND HALF AN HOUR ON EACH OF THESE TOPICS. I WON’T, AND WILL SAVE MY ARGUMENTS AND IDEAS FOR LATER CENTRAL COUNCIL MEETINGS, BUT LET ME MAKE A FEW BRIEF COMMENTS ON THESE THEMES.

FIRSTLY, HISTORY HAS SHOWN THAT AS COMMUNITIES GROW AND PROSPER IT IS ONLY BY LIMITING GOVERNMENT AND EXPANDING INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY AND OPPORTUNITY THAT SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACCELERATES. FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS IT HAS BEEN VITAL TO HAVE BEEN LEAD BY POLITICAL

ENTREPRENEURS, BUT I BELIEVE THE TIME IS NOW RIPE IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY FOR PRIVATE ENTERPRISE TO DOMINATE THE ACTION WITH THEIR SERVICES, INDUSTRIES AND MARKETS. THE RESOURCES AND CREATIVITY ARE IN PLACE IN OUR COMMUNITY TO

REPLACE THE NEED FOR: POLITICAL POWER WITH NEW AREAS OF SERVICE, INDEPENDENCE AND WEALTH.

THE CHANGING DEMOGRAPHY AND AGE-GROUPS IN THE NT PROVIDE IMPORTANT NEW OPPORTUNITIES. THE NUMBERS OF YOUNG TERRITORIANS MATURING AND STAYING ON IN OUR COMMUNITIES POSE BOTH EXCITING OPPORTUNITIES FOR THEM TO STUDY NEW

SKILLS AND MAKE NEW EMPLOYMENT INDUSTRIES. THE LARGE NUMBERS OF DEFENCE PERSONNEL OPEN UP LOTS OF NEW AREAS FOR TERTIARY STUDY COURSES - AS WELL AS EXTRA RESOURCES FOR YOUNG FAMILIES AND RECREATION FACILITIES. ABORIGINAL TERRITORIANS ARE EXPERIENCING AN ASTOUNDING PERIOD OF

CHANGE AS THOUSANDS - AND THOUSANDS - OF TEENAGE

ABORIGINES FACE THE DEMANDS OF EDUCATION, CULTURE AND PARTICIPATION IN THE WIDER ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL SCENE.

LYN RYAN REMINDED ME RECENTLY THAT A FEW YEARS AGO I CONFRONTED AND ASTOUNDED HER AT A CENTRAL COUNCIL MEETING WHEN I PREDICTED THAT “IN THE NOT TOO DISTANT

FUTURE EVERY TERRITORY FAMILY WOULD INCLUDE ONE ASIAN AND ONE ABORIGINAL FAMILY MEMBER”. WELL, I DON’T THINK LYN WOULD MIND ME POINTING OUT THAT DESPITE HER RETORT AT THE

TIME, SHE NOW HAS BOTH A GRANDCHILD WITH ASIAN HERITAGE AND A GRANDCHILD WITH ABORIGINAL HERITAGE - AND LYN IS A MORE LOVABLE AND CARING TERRITORIAN THAN EVER BEFORE!

LET ME NOW SUGGEST THAT IN THE NEAR FUTURE NOT ONLY WILL ALL TERRITORY FAMILIES INCORPORATE ASIAN AND ABORIGINAL CULTURE BUT THEY WILL ALSO HOPEFULLY INCLUDE :

- A MILLIONAIRE - A UNI LECTURER OR TEACHER - A MEMBER OF THE DEFENCE FORCES - AT LEAST ONE AGEING GRANDPARENT, AND MAYBE - A SENATOR OR MHR WHEN THE NUMBERS

INCREASE

IN THE MEANTIME:

I’M KEEN TO STAY IN THE JOB - WITH YOUR SUPPORT!

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