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




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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 the case, the time taken for just a leg of the rail between Tennant Creek and Alice Springs would be nearly a year. Now, if that is not a lot of transporting of steel rail from Alice Springs to Tennant Creek by the transport industry, I dont know what would be. The project will be a tremendous boon to the Northern Territory. It will give businesses in Alice Springs and the Territory a huge amount of work that will leave them with a very, very strong financial legacy. It will be definitely a Territory building project which will see us become the last developing capital city in the whole of Australia. I recently said to some people that all the capital cities in Australia, bar Darwin, has had between 150 to 200 years of development since the time of Captain Cook. Darwin, essentially the last capital city in Australia, has only had about 25 years of development since Cyclone Tracy. So Darwin, as the last capital city, has about 100 to 150 years of catching up to do. And with modem technology, that catching up will be concentrated into the next 50 years or so. If you compress 150 years of progress into 50 years, there is going to be a lot of development going on, and the rail will be the impetus for all that to happen. Weve heard about the port thats being developed and more is being spent on it. The rail will make the port work, and the rail will make the Territory work. And for that reason, we all have to share in this vision. This project will take the Northern Tenitory well into the next 1000 years. I commend the statement and commend the project. Mr ADAMSON (Tertiary Education and Training): Mr Speaker, I make a few comments in my capacity as minister responsible for education and training. By anyones definitions and standards, the opportunities that we are faced with in the Northern Territory, both with the construction of the railway and the long term operation of this particular massive infrastructure, is limited only by our imagination. The opportunities up and down the track can be just as great in the short, medium and long term. When we hear comments of some centres becoming nothing more than stop overs, I invite members to think of those not as stop overs but as hubs. If everyone on this side of the House had followed through with such a lack of vision, we would not have had the project that today places itself very firmly in our sights. Much has been said about employment, and what it will mean for the Northern Territory and for Australia generally. Figures of 6000 to 7000 jobs have been bandied around and certainly at different stages of construction they must definitely seem to be the best in terms of educated assessments and projections. In terms of the physical construction of the railway itself - and of course most of that will be happening here in the Northern Territory - we can expect in the order of about 1000 ongoing jobs. These people will be working on not one particular location, but a number of locations up and down the spine of the Northern Territory. Those particular jobs will be long term throughout the construction phrase which, in many ways, has far greater ongoing benefits than some of the other jobs - particularly some of the interstate occupations that will exist for only a period of time during the construction. It has been said that there is no strategy for training opportunities. That is not the case. It has been said that we will be missing out on opportunities because we dont have the workforce. Again that overlooks a lot of work that has been done by this government, not only in more recent times but over the last couple of years in working up this concept on this proposal. The very nature of the bidding process took into account how training and jobs would be created. We have heard the figure said in this House that around about 70% must be local content. By local we generally mean the Northern Territory or South Australia. Equally as important is the commitment by the consortium to put in place various training strategies to guarantee and maximise potential for people here in the Northern Territory. Its an issue that has been very conveniently overlooked by many on the opposite side of the Chamber. But it is a reality. It is a fact of life that not only has this government been working on how these training measures should best be addressed but the consortium themselves and in particular, of course, the prefened consortium has been working up its own set of training strategies. When we talk about training, particularly in many of these jobs, we are talking about on-the-job training and its that simple in many cases. I dont mean to over simplify the situation but there is a large number of these jobs where training will only come on the job. That is, in many ways, the very nature of a lot of this type of training in not only Australia but the world today. We are seeing time and time again employers saying that when they employ apprentices and trainees, and when they wish to upgrade some of their employees skills, they wish to do that on site, on the job, and that is how the training structure has turned around. Ms Martin inteijecting. Mr ADAMSON: I notice the Leader of the 4767