Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 31 May 2001



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 31 May 2001

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Parliamentary Record 28


Debates for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001




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 - Thursday 31 May 2001 enterprise is able to properly present its capabilities to the major companies, the prime contractors in this project. They also included advice on how to register with the NTISO in such a way that all of their capabilities as a business were easily understood. An important point to keep making is that companies need to be registered with NTISO because that is a criteria of the ADrail procurement process. Industrial relations and human resource management seminars were delivered by the Territory Construction Association in conjunction with my department at Darwin, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs in April and May of this year. There were quite a number of attendees at all of those points. Several networking workshops and network facilitation meetings have been delivered in Katherine and Tennant Creek. Cost quoting and tendering workshops have been arranged over the next month to take place in Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs. Those seminars have all been presented in such a way that the information is equally applicable across a wide range of projects so this is good upskilling for Territory businesses for other major projects as well. A senior Work Health and Safety Officer has been employed to work with ADrail and its contractors to minimise work injuries during the construction of the railway. The Work Health official will also facilitate inspection of designated plant and equipment and the licensing of operators through the project. The size of this project - 1400- odd km - poses some obvious logistical difficulties. We need to ensure that we can properly service the project. That is why the officer is there. These information sessions have been very popular. For example, those organised to provide information on the AustralAsia Railway Corporation and ADrail had attendances which totalled 220 businesses in Darwin, 50 in Katherine, 71 in Tennant Creek, which was amazing, and 53 in Alice Springs. They also provided ADrail its first opportunity to present its procurement and recruitment systems relative to each centre directly to relevant businesses and potential employees. In conjunction with the ADrail information sessions, the Department of Industries and Business ensured that ADrail and Southern Pacific Transport Company personnel received a briefing on local business environments. Representatives from ADrail met with all the elected members of the councils in Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs to let them know about issues of relevance and to take on board any inquiries. These meetings had strong community support, particularly in Katherine and Tennant Creek where you can already see activity. The department over all this time has maintained a Railway News faxstream to over 1100 Territory businesses. That has been a key tool for timely and accurate dissemination of news in an informal way. The information is collated and co-ordinated across agencies, then dispatched through one channel to 1100 businesses. Everyone receives the information at the same time. That has worked very well and has been well supported by the business community. Other support activities include participation in the execution of the Local Industry and Aboriginal Participation Plan through membership on the following committees: the Industry Participation Steering Committee (Darwin and Alice Springs); Aboriginal Implementation Committee (Darwin and Alice Springs); Regional Industry Participation Steering Committee (Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine and Darwin) and Regional Aboriginal Implementation Committee (Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine and Darwin). These committees are an important mechanism for ensuring that business and the local community can air any issues and ideas and discuss these openly in a forum designed to deal with them in a positive environment. The Darwin committee met last week and discussed the issue of a prime contractor advertising for labour. The labour was for regional operations using Darwin as a base. We were able to approach the company involved. They have agreed to change their approach to job advertising to accommodate people in regional centres across the Northern Territory. That is the sort of thing we are always on the lookout for. We are always trying to talk to them about regional differences and how to best place things like advertisements to suit the local environment. We have also worked with local government community councils in respect of promoting their community assets - medical and police, recreational facilities - and ensuring that ADrail is aware of commercial support available. For example, what sort of mobile equipment is around and what sort of skilled personnel are available in those communities up and down the rail corridor. ADrail made a commitment to use communities commercial support systems when appropriate for non-critical civil works. We have been proactive in working with the business community for at least two years in that way. I believe the business community is cracking to get on to this and it is great to see that early in the piece, so many have won contracts big and small. They are well positioned over the next three years while we are in phase two of this program, the construction phase, before we move on to the 7776