Territory Stories

Parliamentary Speeches, Debates and Public Statements about the Alice Springs to Darwin Railway since Self - Government

Details:

Title

Parliamentary Speeches, Debates and Public Statements about the Alice Springs to Darwin Railway since Self - Government

Creator

Hawthorne, Marilyn; Northern Territory Library. Parliamentary Library Service

Collection

Research Papers; ParliamentNT; Research paper; no. 2

Date

2000

Notes

Contact Library & Archives NT for this resource; Made available by via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT)

Language

English

Subject

Railroads -- Northern Territory; Railroads -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Railroads -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Railway

Publisher name

Northern Territory Library

Place of publication

Darwin

Series

Research paper; no. 2

File type

application/pdf

Use

Atttribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government

License

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

Parent handle

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/83440

Citation address

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356590

Related items

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356802; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356800; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356799; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356797; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356795; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356793; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356791; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356789; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356787; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356785; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356783; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356571; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356569; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356567; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356565; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356563; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356561; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356559; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356557; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356554; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356552; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356781; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356550; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356548; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356546; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356544; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356542; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356540; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356538; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356537; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356535; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356533; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356779; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356531; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356529; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356527; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356525; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356523; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356521; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356519; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356517; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356515; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356513; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356777; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356511; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356509; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356507; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356505; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356504; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356502; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356500; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356498; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356496; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356494; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356775; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356492; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356490; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356488; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356486; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356484; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356482; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356480; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356478; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356476; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356474; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356773; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356472; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356470; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356468; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356466; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356464; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356463; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356462; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356460; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356458; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356457; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356772; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356455; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356454; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356452; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356451; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356449; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356447; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356445; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356443; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356441; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356439; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356770; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356848; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356435; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356433; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356431; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356429; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356427; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356425; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356423; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356421; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356419; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356767; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356417; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356415; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356413; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356411; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356409; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356407; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356405; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356403; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356401; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356399; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356766; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356395; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356397; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356748; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356746; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356745; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356742; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356741; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356738; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356737; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356735; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356764; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356733; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356732; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356730; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356728; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356726; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356724; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356721; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356719; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356717; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356715; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356762; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356713; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356437; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356846; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356844; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356842; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356840; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356838; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356836; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356834; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356832; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356760; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356830; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356828; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356826; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356824; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356822; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356820; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356818; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356817; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356815; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356813; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356758; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356811; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356809; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356807; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356804; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356756; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356754; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356752; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356750; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356711; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356709; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356707; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356706; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356705; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356704; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356702; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356700; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356698; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356696; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356694; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356692; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356690; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356688; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356686; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356684; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356682; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356680; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356678; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356676; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356674; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356672; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356670; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356668; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356666; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356664; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356661; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356659; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356657; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356655; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356653; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356651; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356649; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356647; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356646; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356644; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356642; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356640; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356638; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356636; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356634; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356632; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356630; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356628; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356626; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356624; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356622; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356620; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356618; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356616; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356614; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356612; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356610; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356608; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356606; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356604; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356602; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356600; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356598; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356596; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356594; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356592; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356588; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356586; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356584; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356582; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356580; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356579; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356577; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356575; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/356573

Page content

River project in its freight task assessments. It is already on public record that the Plenty River project is no longer in operation. It is now on a care-and-maintenance basis. This state of affairs results more from world prices for its concentrates than from transport problems. Mr Speaker, the technical assessment focused upon Frances Creek and it stated: 'Typical of the subjective nature of the Hill Report is its rejection of the view that the Frances Creek iron ore mine can be reopened'. Clearly, the author of this statement knows very little about the international market for iron ore. Nothing short of an absolute miracle will bring the Frances Creek iron ore mine back into production. Here are some facts about the Frances Creek iron ore deposit. In the years 1967 to 1974, the mine produced approximately 6 000 000 t of high grade ore of 62% iron content. However, the mine closed due to a contracting world market and escalating energy prices. By mid-1974, the federal government had paid subsidies to the Frances Creek operators of over $2m and an additional $1.2m indirect subsidy due to rail losses on the rail link from Frances Creek to Darwin. A further $115 000 was paid on another indirect subsidy due to losses incurred by the Port Authority in the loading of the ore. Mr Speaker, there is a large stockpile of ore at the moment, some 500 000 t according to the Northern Territory government. Australia currently has in excess of 5 million tonnes of iron ore stockpiled at Mount Newman and at Yampi. This stockpile is of 64% iron content. The iron content at Frances Creek is around 62% to 63%. If it is such a good submission from the Northern Territory government, it certainly has not spelt out the special qualities of this iron ore at Frances Creek and who exactly will use this iron ore. That is not clear in the report at all. The current world price for such ore, from information supplied by BHP, is US$22.27 per tonne and BHP cannot sell its product at that price. In 1975, the price faced by Frances Creek was less than $14 per tonne and this price was too low to encourage continued mining. That was only 10 years ago. To further underscore the argument against the technical assessment in the area of iron ore, in early 1983, as a result of one of the Chief Minister's off-the-cuff comments on the prospects for establishing a steel foundry in Darwin, a study was commissioned by the development corporation. It was entitled 'A Study Into the Feasibility of Establishing a Foundry in Darwin'. The document argued the case for the establishment of a steel foundry in Darwin but it is interesting to note that nowhere in that report is there any mention whatsoever of the iron ore deposit at Frances Creek. Instead, the development corporation proposed a feedstock of scrap iron. Mr Speaker, as we have said constantly, the case for the railway is clear. The Territory Labor Party supports the construction of the railway but we do not argue, as the government argues, that the line will be an instant success; that it will instantly move hundreds of thousands of tonnes of produce from the Douglas-Daly or haul hundreds of thousands of tonnes of iron ore from Frances Creek. The case for a railway is to be found in its employment-generating potential and in its social benefits. To present a report such as that produced by the Northern Territory government is to debase the case for the railway because it destroys the credibility of the Territory government. Page 306 The Chief Minister asserted yesterday that the Northern Territory government's submission was, and I quote, 'a comprehensive and professional assessment of the economic resultants and social effects of the construction of the railway in which all assumptions of future effects were clearly spelt out'. If that is the case, how does he account for the major discrepancies between his government's submission and the joint 1980 NT- Commonwealth submission? In the document headed 'An Evaluation of the Report of the Independent Economic Inquiry into Transport Services to the Northern Territory', the Chief Minister points to later documentation in the Hill Report. The Chief Minister said: 'With the resources available to the inquiry, it is surprising that its report does not document adequately the methodology used in producing its forecast, choosing rather to report only'. Nowhere in the Territory's submission is there any justification for the probabilities that are ascribed to individual projects, like the 80% probability ascribed to