Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995
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
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Tuesday 23 May 1995 The Pastoral Program has been allocated $4.12m in 1995-96, a slight increase compared with the previous year. This increase is associated with an additional emphasis being placed on the extension services for the pastoral industry. The extension services will be provided by the Primelink subprogram. This program facilitates the exchange of knowledge, information and skills to the industry, to ensure the development and sustainability of primary industry in the Northern Territory. My desire is to provide practical solutions to the pastoral industry to improve its efficiency and effectiveness, and to avoid what some may call impractical fancies. The drought of recent years has had a devastating effect on beef producers in the southern part of the Territory. Combined with seasonal variations, this has created difficulties for the industry and has not helped with the productivity of land. There is often a perception that the land is being degraded through pastoral activities when, in fact, its condition has more to do with natural seasonal variations. To assist the pastoral industry, funds will be provided to improve the quality of information in respect of prevailing seasons and the impact they may have on the industry as a whole. This may help to overcome the kind of problems that were experienced in 1994 with the declaration of drought-affected areas. An amount of S l.lm has been set aside in our budget for drought assistance to cope with this problem. All research projects under the pastoral program involve input from producers, and a range of demonstration sites on commercial properties ensures that the technologies and techniques developed are appropriate and practical. Projects being carried out in the sustainable pastoral management area aim to improve the ability to manage the pastures and land. Significant projects being carried out in the region include the development of production systems for steers and heifers on improved and native pastures. This involves a range of nutritional and genetic treatments to improve growth rates and fertility of the regional herd. The projects are intrinsically linked to deal with the whole production and marketing system, and will culminate with turn-off of animals being monitored through to consumers in South-East Asia, thereby ensuring that the Territory industry is best placed to meet the market. The Fisheries Program has been allocated $4.53 lm in 1995-96. This is a decrease of $500 000 compared with 1994-95. This decrease is also largely attributable to the completion of some research programs funded by external agencies. The Fisheries Program is concerned particularly with aquaculture and aquatic research management, and also facilitates the development and provision of client services to all sectors of the industry. In respect of aquatic resource management, an emphasis is and will continue to be placed on integrating research, development and management functions to provide an appropriate balance between production and conservation issues. During 1995-96, it is planned to target in particular data collection and analysis for each of the important wild stock fishery resources, and the provision of assistance to the commercial sector to develop and test new technology. In 1995-96, it is expected that the research and development effort will give attention to high priority areas of the industry, including the coastal fisheries, Timor Reef and trepang. Monitoring of existing developed fisheries will also continue. There will be further development of links with near Asian neighbours, promoted through fisheries technology cooperation agreements. During the year, management plans for the remaining major fisheries will be developed, and a major survey of recreational fishing, which was initiated this year, will be completed. The recreational fishing assessment subprogram provides much-needed information to managers on the extent and impact of recreational fishing on the resources. Its 3515
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