Friday, June 21, 2024

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HomeIssue 20Lambley seeks brake on government spending

Lambley seeks brake on government spending

Sir – I will be introducing a Private Members Bill to legislate for a Debt Ceiling today, a key recommendation of the 2019 Langoulant Budget Repair Report, preventing governments from overspending and taking the NT to the brink of financial collapse, like we have seen the Gunner Government do over the past few years.
The Gunner Government plans to implement this recommended a Debt Ceiling in the May 2021 NT Budget, two years after the report was released.
The ceiling must be implemented sooner rather than later. This erratic, irresponsible government spending must be reined in to stop the Territory getting deeper into unsustainable debt.
Waiting until 2021 is a stalling tactic and demonstrates the Gunner Government s lack of genuine commitment to Budget Repair.
The ceiling is set at the projected net debt for the non-financial public sector for 2021/22 , as set in the 2019 NT Budget Papers, of $6.988 billion.
Although that is an unacceptably high rate of net debt – at a 105% net debt to revenue ratio – the Government has already committed to spending and borrowing over the next two years.
To reduce the debt to below this level would impact adversely on business confidence.
Legislating a limit on debt will stop the Government from further damaging our financial position and credibility.
The Auditor General will be tasked to monitor the level of debt. If the ceiling is exceeded, the Auditor General will generate a report for the Treasurer which must be tabled in Parliament on the very next sitting day.
For any Government to exceed this ceiling they must amend the Financial Management Act 1995 and in doing so, must explain to the NT Parliament and the people of the NT why an increase in net debt is required.
Robyn Lambley (pictured)
Independent Member for Araluen, Alice Springs



  1. Who does the government borrow from and at what point does the debt get called in and we find that the NT is now owned by a foreign country?

  2. @ Martin Hall: If this was my credit card I would chop it up. I feel for the youth of the Territory.
    Not even a left wing Federal Labor government will be able to cover this, and billions more to be borrowed in the forward estimates.
    Just irresponsible, even the Labor Caine government Bank of Victoria bankruptcy makes this look innocuous.
    Someone will pay, maybe QLD, WA and SA as we are liquidated into those states and no more Territory? I hope not.
    The Northern Territory Treasury Corporation (NTTC) borrows funds from the domestic and international financial markets by offering a range of financial products. The funds raised by NTTC assist to finance the Territory’s infrastructure requirements such as housing, transport, health and education services.
    As at 30 June 2019, NTTC’s total outstanding debt was about $5.66 billion of domestic debt. Total borrowing in 2018-19 was $1.26 billion, which included $21m of pre-funding for 2019-20.


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