Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 17 May 1995



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 17 May 1995

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Parliamentary Record 10


Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 17 May 1995 Mr FINCH (Attorney-General)(by leave): Mr Speaker, I move that the bill be now read a third time. Motion agreed to; bill read a third time. MINING ASSISTANCE ACT REPEAL BILL (Serial 65) Continued from 22 February 1995. Mrs HICKEY (Barkly): Mr Speaker, this bill repeals in toto the Mining Development Act and all amendments to it. The act provides for assistance for mining to encourage small-scale miners and prospectors in particular. As the honourable minister stated in his second-reading speech, the original purpose of the Mining Assistance Act was to assist with the development of mining in the Northern Territory, and it provided that assistance through the provision of subsidies and the like in the form of loans and advances for prospecting. In those days, there were numbers of high-grade ore prospects in the Northern Territory that were readily assisted by small grants, and the government assisted in that way to encourage prospectors and small-scale miners. Obviously, the nature of mining in the Northern Territory has changed considerably since those days and we now see large-scale operations with millions of dollars expended, all somewhat beyond the scope of government. Consequently, this legislation is not really necessary any more. The opposition supports the repeal of this largely redundant act. In doing so, however, we would like to acknowledge the contribution that those small miners and prospectors made to the development of the Northern Territory. There were some colourful characters among them, and they were certainly the people who discovered some of the most profitable mines in the Northern Territory, particularly in the area that I represent. Mines like Nobles Nob, El Dorado and Warrego were discovered by these small prospectors using hand-held equipment. Certainly, they opened up the Territory in terms of exploration and provided much wealth to the region. Some of these pioneers in my area are still around. They include people like Peter Jackson, Willie Apple, and Cole Bremner who still operates a small mine in Tennant Creek. That facility is open for tourists to visit and it is certainly very interesting. Cole is very entertaining and is very knowledgable about the early days of mining and indeed the history of the Northern Territory in general. His operation is certainly worth a visit. As the honourable minister mentioned, the last government battery in operation was in Tennant Creek, and it is now functioning as a tourist attraction and one that has been added to recently by the provision of an adit that has been assisted considerably by a contribution from Poseidon Gold, for which the local community is grateful. We attended an unofficial opening of that adit, but it is not quite ready for tourist visitation as yet. The honourable minister was also there with some representatives of Poseidon Gold and we had a trip through the adit. It will be a great addition to the battery as a tourism facility. Some of the measures that were put in by early governments still remain an advantage today. Obviously, since financial assistance is now provided by another government agency, 3313