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 Chief Ministers statement concerning the AustralAsia rail project. Territorians have been waiting a long time for this particular railway. Im very proud that the Territory government has helped to bring it to this particular stage of development. The AustralAsia Railway will provide a new and faster route for trade between Australia and Asia - and that is pretty obvious. By completing the Adelaide to Darwin railway, linked to the new deep water port that is being constructed at Darwin, not only will international trade be enhanced but so too will economic development of northern Australia. That will benefit all Territorians and also a large number of Australians who live out of the Territory. That rail port project will service world-scale resource, energy and agribusiness projects from the Kimberley to Carpentaria. It will be a major infrastructure initiative for Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. The railway will operate between Tarcoola, north west of Adelaide in South Australia, right through Alice Springs in Central Australia to Darwin in the Northern Territory, connecting up to the new port. It will enhance the development of Darwin as a supply, service and distribution centre for our region. A number of estimates have been provided in recent months regarding the employment benefits of the AustralAsia Railway project. I think it has already been mentioned, but in June 1999 an independent report by Access Economics on the impacts of that rail project was tabled in our Legislative Assembly. Access Economics had estimated that some 1300 additional jobs are likely to be created during the construction phase and after 25 years of operation the increase in total employment will be some 5200 jobs in the Territory. The preferred consortium has estimated up to 2000 jobs will be created in the Territory during the construction phase and around 1000 of those jobs will be on site during construction. Unlike some of the supply type jobs, the construction jobs will last for that complete 3-year construction period. There is no doubt that a significant number of jobs will be created and that will further stimulate the Territory economy. It will provide an opportunity to attract further people to take up residence here. Thats the point that the opposition seems to have missed. We had the Leader of the Opposition, over a number of weeks now, baying: Ah, but will it be jobs for Territorians?. Where does she think Territorians have come from? Where does she think the rapid employment growth in the Territory has come from? Where does she think Palmerston has come from? It has come because jobs are being created in the Territory, people have moved to the Northern Territory to take up those jobs and theyve become Territorians. This will grow the Territory because all of us know we have full employment in the Territory. You cant get people for jobs, people have to come from interstate and overseas to take up the jobs that are being created by this government in the Northern Territory. Thats what this government is about. We are about creating growth and creating jobs to grow our population, which in tum creates more jobs. Everyone that takes up residence here has to have a house to live in, has to drive a motor car, has to buy a loaf of bread every day and a bottle of milk and a newspaper and clothing etc. Their children have to be educated, requiring schools to be built and teachers are required to teach them. Its pretty simple economics, but the Leader of the Opposition cannot grasp it. It stuns and amazes me to hear her saying: Oh, but those jobs wont go to Territorians. Of course they will, because once they come here they will realise this is the place that theyve been missing out on all their lives. Thats why people stay in the Territory because its the best place in Australia to live. We are creating the jobs and the atmosphere to grow the Territory. The Leader of the Opposition ought to be ashamed of herself. In my electorate, most people come from outside the Territory because jobs have been created in the Territory. 90% of the people in Palmerston came from outside the Territory because jobs have been created here. Theyre going to be really interested to know that if the Labor party had been in power when we became self governing, there would not have been any jobs created because the Leader of the Opposition and Labor are not interested in growing the Territory, in creating jobs to attract people hear. Thank goodness the CLP is in government. We will continue to work to create jobs. It doesnt take much of a mathematician to look at the number of students who graduate from the NTU and the number of students who leave school at the end of year 12, and then look at the number of jobs that are created in the Territory every year - you will find that theres a big gap. Many more jobs are being created than people leaving schools and tertiary institutions. In other words, there are more than enough jobs for all our school leavers, all our graduates, plus more, and there is nowhere else in Australia where that can be said. That is because this government is continually working to ensure that we create job growth and we will keep doing that. This particular project, as the Treasurer has informed us, will require 155 000 tonnes of steel, 15 kms of concrete culvert pipe, 2.2 million cubic metres of ballast, 240 000 cubic metres of pre stressed concrete, 15 million cubic metres of earth

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