ARE WE READY FOR STATEHOOD (2)
In comparative terms, the NT is akin to the apprentice still learning the trade from its Principal, the Australian Commonwealth. It began assuming statelike powers in 1978. Forty years later, it has had a long childhood but many would argue that it is still not beyond the age of adolescence.
It was tested for adulthood in the 1999 referendum but through its voting populace, rejected the invitation that we move to represent the need to become a fully fledged state.
It is obvious to many, both inside the Territory and by those outside looking in, that we have a lot of growing up to do. Eighty percent (80%) of our revenue comes from the Federal Government. We have massive debts based on government borrowings and our credit rating, AA2 ‘stable’ is under threat!
The NT is looking at a debt of $5.5 b Illinois over forward estimates, the equal largest projected debt the government has had. There is a forecast that this’s debt will balloon to $7.5 billion by the end of the forward estimates period.
The NT Government will incur interest repayments of $1.65 billion over the four year estimates period. That equates to $1,380,000 per day or $503,700,000 per year.
We have a population of 235,000. The debt repayment per person per day equates to $5.87 from each of us every day or $2,143.40 owed borrowers by each of us every year. That is not a good look.
And we are ready for statehood and are all grown up?