Territory Stories

Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995



Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995

Other title

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





Publisher name

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES - Tuesday 23 May 1995 Under the pensioner concession scheme, an additional $600 000 has been provided for electricity rebates and other concessions available to eligible pensioners living in remote communities. This will extend the electricity rebates to remote area pensioners for the first time, to bring the total funds provided under this scheme to more than $5m. In closing my remarks in relation to health and community services, I wish to reiterate that the substantial increase in funding for this department will ensure that high-quality services continue to be provided to all Territorians. I turn now to my portfolio of mines and energy which will receive an allocation of $14.9m in 1995-96, a slight increase over last year. As the Treasurer has mentioned, the mining and petroleum industries are crucial to the growth and prosperity of the Northern Territory. In the past 12 months, the Territory economy has been boosted significantly by strong mineral production and additional infrastructure development associated with a range of new projects. In 1994, the value of raw mineral production exceeded $670m and the value of energy products exceeded $410m. Value-adding - for example, the processing of bauxite into alumina - generated $250m in additional revenue. These mineral products included almost 17 to f gold and 2.8 million tonnes of extractive mineral products such as gravel and sands. The total value of production amounted to just over $ 1300m, a slight decrease on the 1993 figure, due mainly to reductions in petroleum production from Bonaparte Gulf. As the Treasurer noted in his address, the commencement of production at McArthur River Mine is expected to increase the overall value of mineral production in the Territory by 30%. New gold mines at Union Reefs, Rustlers Roost and Brocks Creek, and expansions at Toms Gully, Mt Todd and in the Tanami will increase Territory gold production tonnage to record levels over the next financial year. Offshore oil and gas production is poised to play a major role in the Territorys economic growth. The department has responded to an Australia-wide decline in onshore oil and gas exploration by developing a comprehensive new marketing package to attract new players and increase activity. This has involved publishing geological data in major basin studies and developing a catalogue of prospects and leads. The marketing package, which was launched in March at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Convention in Houston, Texas, was presented at the 1995 Australian Petroleum Exploration Association Conference in Adelaide. A number of American and Australian companies have expressed interest in the Territory as a result of this effort. I will endeavour to keep members informed of onshore exploration activities as they progress. In 1995-96, $ l.lm has been allocated to continue major energy initiatives which further promote the prospectivity of onshore and offshore acreage, and assist in developing Darwin as a major supply base. Turning to mining, my department has embarked,on a major initiative to expand geological survey work across the Territory. The allocation to the Mining Resource Development Activity has risen by just under $1.5m, following savings accrued through a reduction of administrative positions to boost geological positions, a reduction in the vehicle fleet size, and removal of unnecessary layers of management. In an effort to improve its service, the department has consulted with industry to determine its priorities and ensure departmental survey resources are targeted to industry priorities. Following this process, $4.4m has been allocated to geological survey work in 1995-96, an increase of $ 1.4m from the 3538