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

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Page content

embarrassed about the amount of money we are getting'. I am not saying we are getting too much. Have a look at the national press. Have a look at the editorials in the Financial Review. Have a look at the behind the scenes minutes that flow from the Department of Treasury. Page 289 All I am saying is that the Northern Territory government has a responsibility, in view of the entrenched and increasing opposition to giving money to the Territory, money to which we are entitled, to make as tight a case as possible when it is asking for funds from the federal government and not to embark, as it has done in its submission to the Hill Inquiry, on absolutely fanciful claims which can be knocked apart in 10 seconds. I will just cover a few. Unfortunately, we have not been able yet to go right through all of this paperwork. There are 600 pages of it covering both submissions. We are still working through it. Our work has been complicated as a result of the Chief Minister sacking 2 senior members of my staff immediately after the election, one being my economist. It is a little difficult for us to proceed with the same speed that we used to in these matters. However, let us have a look at some of the points that I am talking about. The purpose of my contribution to the debate is this: if the Territory government is going to resubmit all these things to the federal government, as it says it will, then it needs to clean up the submission and omit some of the nonsense contained in it for the sake of the Territory and for the sake of the railway being built. The Northern Territory government's own appraisal of the Hill Report says: Forecasts of freight demand is a fundamental issue in assessing the transport requirements of the Northern Territory and must necessarily be made in order to make judgments about the future. I have no argument with that. The assessments of the freight tonnages are crucial. They form the absolute underpinning of the case for the railway. I would not dispute that - no one would. But, in making projections of future freight demands, the Northern Territory government report isolates numerous industries, industry sectors and individual enterprises. I want to draw attention to a few areas. Volume 1, page 59, talks about freight demands derived from broad acre cropping in the Northern Territory: The Northern Territory does not have an established field crop industry. Development has been hindered by isolation and lack of technology infrastructure and farmers with appropriate managerial skills. Mr Speaker, this is an area of the Northern Territory's development and economy that I know a little bit about. So far as freight is concerned, it is absolutely clear that dry land, broad acre cropping is the area which involves the maximum amount of potential freight. The Northern Territory government's submission agrees with that. It is interesting that, when it talks about the problems of dry land broad acre cropping in the Northern Territory, it talks about lack of technology, infrastructure and farmers with appropriate managerial skills. No mention has been made of the major problem that has always been there - and this is referred to in the book I have just mentioned - that of the climate in the Territory. In fact, the problem was mentioned in an answer to a question this morning by the Minister for Primary Production in respect of the ADMA farmers. Page 290 The Northern Territory submission goes on: