Glimpse into Territory’s past: 1992 Cabinet Records released

NT Government

1 January 2023

Territorians can take a trip down memory lane following today’s release of Cabinet Records from 1992.

Managed by Library and Archives NT, the records disclose decisions made by the then-Country Liberal Government, which had been re-elected in October 1990.

The records reveal the Marshall Perron-led Government of the day passed the Northern Territory’s first anti-discrimination legislation, which commenced the following year. Discussions related to the inclusion of parenthood, sexuality, and irrelevant medical record as grounds for discrimination in the legislation.

There was a focus on the environment with the Northern Territory Decade of Landcare Plan endorsed as part of a national push to conserve and protect the NT’s land resource. Bushfire control was also on the agenda with a discussion paper for the management of wildfires submitted to Cabinet in December.

Following the Commonwealth’s notice of intent to increase army presence in the Northern Territory, Cabinet approved a submission to a standing committee hearing, discussing the impacts on social and economic infrastructure such as roads, public transport, hospitals, water supplies and childcare.

The ownership of the Government Stamp Battery at Tennant Creek was transferred to the local community to develop as a mining museum, with $50,000 chipped-in towards rehabilitating the site.

During 1992, Cabinet discussed the development of a new school at Woodroffe in Palmerston. A number of government and private school options were on the table with consideration given to the capacity of existing schools in the area, and demographic projections. Woodroffe Primary School opened in 1995.

The NT Government Cabinet Records are publicly released on the first day of January each year after 30 years, in line with the Information Act 2002.

Across the Territory in 1992:

the population was around 168,000;Darwin commemorated the 50th anniversary of the first air raids on the town during WWII;Sally Thomas became the first woman appointed as an NT Supreme Court judge;talk was circulating about transforming the underground oil storage tunnels at Darwin Wharf into a commercial tourism venture; andwork began on the Cullen Bay Marina project.

Across Australia:

Queen Elizabeth visited Australia;the High Court decided the case of Mabo V Queensland – a landmark decision that recognised Native Title;Kakadu was listed as a World Heritage Area; andWest Coast Eagles won the AFL premiership while the Brisbane Broncos defeated the St George Dragons to win the NSW Rugby League grand final.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Chansey Paech:

“It is always fascinating to begin a new year by delving into our past – dusting off the Cabinet Records and finding out what was going on 30 years before.

“The records are historically significant Territory stories that demonstrate the workings behind the privileges and facilities we enjoy today.

“The 1992 Cabinet Records are now open to the public so everyone is able to explore the decisions that shaped the Northern Territory into the dynamic, progressive place it is today.”

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