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

ADMA's role is, firstly, to facilitate the establishment of agriculturally-based farming systems in the Douglas-Daly areas and, secondly, to provide a range of marketing services including grain receival depots and the operation of grain marketing schemes. Stage 1 of the scheme is due for completion by 1985 with 6 project farms already operational. The submission goes on to state that 80 000t of freight will be generated by this industry in 1992. It says that 73 000 t of freight will be generated by the horticultural industry by 1992. I have no hesitation in saying this on the public record: as far as I am concerned, any estimate of 80 000 t of freight generated by broad acre cropping, that is dry land farming, in the Northern Territory particularly when it is based, as it is, on the 6 ADMA farmers who are down there - is frankly laughable. It simply cannot be sustained; it is fanciful and it is quite extraordinary that this comes from a government that is quick to condemn the Hill Report for lack of methodology. Nowhere in the government submission is there any indication of how it reached this extraordinary figure. It is interesting that the government prepared its submission just after it had all the trouble with 4 of the farmers not wanting to sign new contracts. The minister himself referred to the wet weather this morning. They have already had one bad season. Weather is an important consideration in the problems of Northern Territory agriculture and that is not mentioned at all in the report. The submission also talks about 'the effect on freight of a fully-integrated cement works on Quarantine Island'. Page 63 of the submission contains a photograph of a fully-integrated cement plant under construction and the report talks about that. The fact is that it is not a fully-integrated cement works. It is a clinker crushing plant and that is very significant in terms of the freight potential that is generated. A fully-integrated cement plant produces its own cement; it produces its own clinker in other words. The cement works does not do that. Not only is the statement in the Northern Territory government's submission patently false, inquiries that I have made in the industry indicate that the best estimate that can be placed on when it is likely to be a fully- integrated cement plant producing its own cement is the year 2010. It is described in the Northern Territory submission as being a fully-integrated cement plant; it is nothing of the sort. The government's own inquiry will demonstrate that the difference between a clinker crushing plant and a fully-integrated cement works in terms of freight potential is quite considerable. That needs to be fixed up. It goes on to say that the likely market in respect of this plant is the Argyle diamond mine. A decision was taken in June last year, which received national publicity - and this was before the submission was written - that a township at Argyle would not be built. In fact the operators, and experience in the Northern Territory has demonstrated how useful it is when you can do it, will operate on a fly-in fly-out basis. Workers will be accommodated at the nearest major town and flown in to the mine. That decision was taken in June last year. On top of that, Ready Mix has installed a plant at Argyle to take care of the cement demands the actual mine itself will make. Thus, the prospect for the Northern Territory to be manufacturing enormous amounts of cement for Argyle is a phantom hope that is proposed as a solid fact, supposedly, in this submission. That needs to be fixed up. Page 291 Page 90 of the Northern Territory government's submission deals with 168 000 t of freight to be generated by the Frances Creek iron ore deposit. The government neglects the fact that iron ore prices are at an all-time low and, according to all of the industry reports, are likely to remain so for some considerable period of time. That is why Frances Creek is a non-operational mine. There is a world oversupply of iron ore, much to the comfort of the Japanese, I can assure you. The submission argues strongly that the railway will provide competition for road-based transport services. This is interesting because the government's own freight inquiry shows that 17 independent