Territory Stories

Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 November 1999



Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 November 1999

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Parliamentary Record 20


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 - Tuesday 23 November 1999 local industry participation plan states that 70% of the value of construction will be local employment and goods sourced from local industry. Local industry in this context is taken to mean the Northern Territory and South Australian in the first instance, and of course the rest of Australia. When it is taken into account that the construction phase of the project is worth around about $ 1000m, this local content clause is extremely important to both the Northern Territory and certainly to South Australia as well. Detailed discussions were held with the preferred consortium as late as last week to further develop its commitment to local industry participation. Key outcomes of those discussions were a reaffirmation of the 70% local content target during the construction phase; agreement that the Territory would be the first choice for sourcing labour for the project; and up to 2000 jobs during that construction phase. It has been shown many, many times that as well as the jobs that will be sourced out of the Northern Territory, there will be new jobs available, too. It has been shown that of the people who come to the Northern Territory following work, at least 50% of those people stay here in the Northern Territory and make their home in the Northern Territory. That will be a great boost to our economy and our population basis for many, many years to come. Also in those discussions there was agreement that the construction headquarters, including the purchasing office, will be located in Darwin and that officers from the NT Industry Search and Opportunities Office will be based in the purchasing office to help in the sourcing of local goods and services. Thats a great outcome, maximising the potential for local content and participation. As the Deputy Chief Minister has said, the consortium will also seek to provide opportunities for Aboriginal employment and contracting by establishing contractual arrangements, and that includes joint venture opportunities with Aboriginal organisations. It was also agreed that the consortium would participate in a series of local industry briefing sessions being scheduled for all major Territory centres along the corridor in early December. It is here that my Department of Industries and Business is playing a key role. I have instructed my department to liaise with the railway corporation and the consortium, also the NT Industry Search and Opportunities Office, the regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry, their officers, and other industry bodies such as the TCA. The bringing together of all of those stakeholders is about maximising opportunities for Northern Territory and South Australian businesses and industry, and the respective governments and, obviously, the taxpayers of both of those jurisdictions. As the minister for DIB, I can say that local industry is encouraged to tender for construction work. To facilitate this the government, through the AustralAsia Railway Corporation, has arranged for representation on the procurement teams for the Northern Territory and South Australian Industry Search and Opportunities Office. ISOO will have no part in the decision of which company wins a tender, but it is there to offer support to the consortium and advice on industry and business capabilities, and where they might source all of those needs for the building and construction and operation of the railway. Businesses interested in tendering for work with the railway are advised to contact the Asia Pacific Transport consortium directly and also to register with the NT Industry Search and Opportunities Office. A key element in ensuring that local firms can submit competitive tenders is the provision of monthly reporting to the community. This information will include which contracts have been let and to whom, which are ready for tendering, and a 3 month forward tenders plan. This will be widely distributed through industry representative bodies. There is likely to be a very significant role for local training and employment agencies in assisting in the recruitment and training process. I am sure the minister responsible for training might take up on that. For local industry to benefit they will need to ensure their tenders are competitive, as always, and meet all the requirements for quality and value. Joint ventures with South Australian companies are encouraged where this would add value and competitiveness. The details of local industry participation are being negotiated between the AustralAsia Railway Corporation and the preferred consortium. To assist businesses to plan for the construction phase due to start mid next year, the NT government is coordinating workshops in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine and Darwin. I am pleased to advise that the arrangements for these workshops are being made in conjunction with officers from the AustralAsia Railway Corporation and industry associations. It has not been possible to run workshops to date due to the sensitive nature of the negotiations between the preferred consortium, AsiaPacific 4750