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Wednesday, 12 February 2014
Page: 277

Mrs GRIGGS (Solomon) (18:49): In 2010 when I was elected to represent the people of Solomon in this parliament as the first female member for Solomon I was humbled by the support that I had received from the local community and honoured by the enormous responsibility that had been vested in me to serve the Top End cities of Darwin and Palmerston. The 2010 election and its aftermath was a tumultuous time in Australia's political and social history which came at an enormous cost to the Australian people. The Labor government held power on the back of a damaging partnership with the Greens. The result of the partnership was legislation such as the carbon tax that hurt the national interest and stifled economic growth.

The Labor-Greens alliance imposed a burden on small businesses in Darwin and Palmerston in a way that no serving government should ever be allowed to do again. The carbon tax was imposed on thousands of businesses and tens of thousands of households across the country to keep the Gillard-Rudd Labor government in office. This disgraceful use of executive powers ignored the high cost under which many Territorians' businesses already operate. In a competitive economic environment like Solomon, this was a telling blow to businesses that already operated around the margins. The cost of electricity in the Territory increased by nearly 10 per cent in my electorate of Solomon, all because of the carbon tax—10 per cent! Small businesses have been the mainstay of the Territory private economy for decades. (Quorum formed)

As I was saying, the cost of electricity increased by nearly 10 per cent in my electorate of Solomon, all because of the carbon tax. Small businesses have been the mainstay of the Territory's private economy for decades and have provided jobs and security for families around Darwin and Palmerston. In an election environment where both the major political groupings promised to develop northern Australia, only one has shown it really is prepared to put its money where its mouth is by removing the carbon tax on businesses and households in Solomon. That is why I am so proud as a Liberal member of the coalition government to be able to help to implement the policies that swept us to power on 7 September.

My first three years as a member of the Solomon were rewarding and it was hard work being in opposition. It was the first time that the member for Solomon had been in opposition. My re-election was an enormous privilege, and one that I intend to use for the benefit of all the residents Solomon.

The electorate of Solomon was created in 2001 and covers an area of approximately 337 square kilometres. It was named after Vaiben Solomon. Vaiben Solomon was the most amazing man. He took every opportunity the Northern Territory had. He became—