Territory Stories

Year in review 2016-2017, Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association



Year in review 2016-2017, Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association


Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association yearbook; Reports; PublicationNT




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Livestock -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Beef cattle -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Ranches -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals

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Foreign Investment was a great starting point for me and I feel that I owe a lot to many of you and your predecessors and the NTCA. The appreciation that I developed in those times means that Matt (Canavan) said I have spent a lot of time in Parliament over the last 6, 8, 10 years trying to ensure that there is a recognition of the enormous potential that still exists across the North. The top 45% of Australia is in the tropics, yet we have a million people living here, and there is something like 17 million hectares of arable soil thats as big as Cambodia. If we go around the globe in the tropics we see that 40% of the worlds population is in the tropics. It is expected that by 2050 50% of the worlds population; 60% of the worlds middle class; and 60% of the worlds children will be living in the tropics, and Australia has the biggest land mass of any country in the tropics. So you can see the enormous opportunity, not just for food and agriculture, but also tropical health and medical research. There is a tropical dimension to architecture; to design; to water management; you name it, theres a tropical dimension to everything and we have the capacity as a first world country to continue to grasp that opportunity. I think for that reason and many others that this is an extraordinary period in our history and I dont feel that Australians are properly appreciating that history. There has been a complacency around much of Australia for the last quarter of a century, during which time we have had uninterrupted economic growth as a country and we are the only developed country in the world that is in that situation. We have averaged 3.3% growth for the last 26 years and for much of the country there is a sense that thats the way it is. A lot of it is because of whats going on around us - for the first 170 years or so after European settlement we traded with Europe and with the united States and our whole future came from those parts of the globe; the investment into Australia was coming from foreign markets. In the last 30 years things have changed and now 8 of our top 10 markets can be found in the region around us - Asia. Our biggest market by a country mile is China. Our second biggest market is the ASEAN countries. Countries like Europe and the united States, which are 12,000 miles away, were the cornerstone of our development for 170 years - now the cornerstone of our future is in our backyard and also within our time zone. This is an enormous advantage to us and weve got to recognise, as a country and as a population, just where our future lies. We are trading massively with the Asian region, a region that weve hardly got a cent invested in, there is also very little connection with this same region. Its not during trading that you develop linkages, mutual respect, and understanding of different cultures etc - its when you start to invest and involve yourself as an industry that these connections are made properly. Australia has spent decades talking about supply issues, which are very important to sustainability, but we also need to consider demand. We have always thought we couldnt influence demand, but my observation now is that we can and we must. This is where were really going to lock in so much of the existing potential - but it means getting to know the people who are driving the demands; its having relationships, friendships, linkages, and understanding and knowing the cultural differences. We need to appreciate the differences in the way in which they do business compared to the way that we do business; we all do things differently but we really need to have that mutual respect at the bottom of it. We are currently witnessing an economic miracle thats been going on for the last 20 to 30 years across the region. For instance, India and China both re-emerging, not emerging, as developed countries. In 18 of the last 20 centuries China and India shared part of the worlds centre of economic and political gravity they shared it sometimes with the Turks and with the Romans but for 18 in the last 20 centuries they were the top two countries in the globe, not just the region, the globe. We are seeing 70% of the worlds growth being driven out of the Asian region at the moment, and 30 or 40% of that is coming solely out of China. Progressively youll see other countries take up more and more of that driving force. But I think for the rest of this century what were going to witness is this region driving most of the worlds growth and in the course of that we will see not only China, but India, re-emerge and share global power with the united States. The process of this re-emergence is going to be very important - we are a small country and we are not a threat to anybody but we have to play a part in ensuring that tensions dont rise as the evolution of power and influence happens; we need to retain peace and stability. You can play a part in that too, youre a big industry and you can influence these things. The things that are happening in the region are important to Australia and your I think for the rest of this century what were going to witness is this region driving most of the worlds growth and in the course of that we will see not only China, but India, re-emerge and share global power with the United States. 44 NTCA YEAR IN REVIEW 2016/17