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 development studies involving other Northern Territoiy government agencies. To complement the release of additional land, my department will examine options for irrigation development. A consultants preliminary report on possible approaches to irrigation in the upper Adelaide River catchment for agriculture and horticultural development will be completed. The Top End has extensive groundwater reserves and seasonal flows of rivers and creeks that offer the potential for storage in dams and weirs. However, constraints on development relate to groundwater reserves being fragmented and variable, and the extent of water investigations has been limited to date, due mainly to the high costs. My department, in association with the Power and Water Authority, will commence an appraisal of the development of surface water storage on properties with soil suitable for irrigation, including the Katherine/Daly basin. The evaluation, which will be developed over 3 years, will include the location of suitable soils and sites for storage, studies into design and reticulation, environmental effects, heritage implications and economics. Quite clearly, irrigation will be an essential adjunct to the achievement of successful, sustainable and diversified agriculture in the Top End. It is essential for the safe production of speciality or high-value crops, such as peanuts, and for producing crops and fodder in the dry season. The high and growing demand for feed to support the rapidly-expanding livestock export trade points also to the need for irrigated developments. A substantial proportion of the agricultural program goes to the efficient management and development of 3 key research stations that support the research and development activities of the department. They are Douglas Daly Research Farm, Coastal Plains Research Station and Berrimah Research Farm. These research facilities will continue to provide important venues for a wide range of activities from the maintenance of sentinel herds for animal disease preparedness and virology research, to agro-forestry projects, all in cooperation with other agencies. The Industry Services Activity is a collection of programs which provide technical and operational support to industry programs and industry clients. The activities include resource protection, animal health, BTEC, land resource management and commercial development. The Resource Protection Program has been allocated $3.319m in 1995-96. This is a reduction of $67 000 compared with the previous year, which is largely attributable to reduced funding for the Commonwealth Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, AQIS. The Resource Protection Program provides entomology, chemistry and plant pathology services to various clients, and maintains the quarantine and export inspection services as an agent of the Commonwealth. Some important new or expanding initiatives of the Resource Protection Program during the year will include: 0 Introduction of competitive third party inspection of livestock consignments that will allow livestock exporters the opportunity of further reducing their operator costs while still complying with the respective importing countries requirements. Provision of inspection and certification services to the horticultural industry that will allow Territory plant and plant produce consignments access to interstate markets. The program cost is approximately $100 000, but allows the marketing of some $20m-worth of products. 3517