Territory Stories

Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995



Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995

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Parliamentary Record 11


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 - Tuesday 23 May 1995 strategies to lift their efficiency and profitability. New industries such as aquaculture and horticulture are also exploring new technologies through research, and combining these with entrepreneurial approaches. The continued growth of the Territorys primary industries is allied closely with the ongoing support provided by the Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries. The department has been allocated $41.2m for the 1995-96 financial year compared with $45.2mfor the previous year. The variation results from a reduction of $2.2m for the Brucellosis and Tuberculosis Eradication Campaign, and a reduction of $lm for land resource management. This was offset by an increase of $691 000 to the Commercial Development Program to increase research activities, especially in marketing areas. The Primary Industry Activity is a collection of important industry-focused programs. It includes horticulture, pastoral, agriculture and fisheries. Combined, these programs represent $ 15.596m or 38% of the budget. The Horticulture Program has been allocated $2.278m in 1995-96. This is a decrease compared with 1994-95, and that is attributable to the completion of various research projects, particularly those funded by external agencies. The Horticulture Program is concerned with research, development and extension programs associated with vegetables, fruits, nuts and ornamentals. The program supports industries such as the production of dates, grapes and cut flowers from central Australia to mangoes, bananas, rockmelons, vegetables and ornamental crops in the Katherine and Darwin regions. The program employs extension officers with broad experience in the horticultural industry as well as officers devoted specifically to vegetables, fruits, nuts, ornamental crops, irrigation and post-harvest technologies. The program provides advice and experience on all present varieties of horticultural crops and the introduction of new varieties for the future. Some of the specific initiatives which the Horticulture Program will undertake or continue in 1995-96 include providing assistance to improve mango quality, assisting the horticulture industry through the provision of part funding for an executive officer to address important development issues, and addressing the post-harvest issues for the mango industry to further improve the reputation of Northern Territory mangoes in the markets. In addition, the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries and the Conservation Commission jointly funded a project to address the bird and bat problems faced by a number of growers in the Darwin region. This project is expected to provide practical and humane strategies to overcome the bird and bat problem. The department has made and expects to make further significant progress with the introduction of fruit tree plant materials and ornamental crops. The introduction of new materials will assist the industry in the future. Significantly, this has been achieved partly by the Northern Territory taking responsibility for operating the post-entry quarantine facilities that were previously administered by the Commonwealth. The confidence of horticulture industries has improved significantly in 1994, and is expected to continue to improve. This was reflected particularly in the requests for horticultural land in the Northern Territory. Some 30 applicants have indicated a desire to buy land and grow a number of crops in the Darwin and Katherine regions. A coordinating group, comprising a number of government agencies, has been established to identify and release land suitable for horticultural purposes. 3514