Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 November 1999
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
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Tuesday 23 November 1999 the opposition claims we havent spoken to, but can also equally be done by the consortium itself. In fact, I think we will see a blending of both which is, in fact, what the training structure in the Northern Tenitory and Australia is all about. It is the structure that is endorsed nationally and has the support of industry, both locally and also around the country. A mentor program will be adopted for new Aboriginal employees. Aboriginal people will undertake the same induction course as other employees, and an Aboriginal apprenticeship and trainee program will also be provided. Far from nothing happening, plenty is happening. These things have been put in place. They are happening in conjunction and consultation with the consortium and, quite frankly, many of these things couldnt have been done until we had arrived at the prefened bidder, and until we had the money generally on the table to say we have a project, we have a deal on the table, and let us take the next step. We are doing that. We have the vision. We certainly dont think the railway is a faded dream. The actions of this particular government have proven that. The Leader of the Opposition claims that the cost per capita of the Northern Territory is higher. Well, so is the return, and thats a thing that is very conveniently overlooked. Yes, in some ways it could be argued that the per capita cost is high for the Northern Territory, but so are the returns. M r Burke: No it is not. M r ADAMSON: Per capita. M r Burke: No. M r ADAMSON: Well, there you go. The Chief Minister can pick me up on that, but I will tell you one thing that is definitely the case, the per capita return to the Northern Territory is most definitely higher than anywhere else. A point, very conveniently overlooked by the opposition. The railway project is great. I cant see how the railway will bruise the fruit, as the member for Stuart seems to think. If he wants to see Alice Springs as a stopover instead of a hub, that shares the lack of vision that his leader so liberally hands out to the rest of their colleagues on that side of the House. It is not a faded dream. The railway is a reality and so are the employment and training strategies that this government is working with the consortium to put in place. M r LUGG (Sport and Recreation): Mr Speaker, it was never a secret that additional financial contributions by the Commonwealth, Tenitory and South Australian governments would be required for the railway project to proceed. There was a degree of public speculation about the amount that was required. It is fair to say that the speculation was somewhat exaggerated and that the extra contributions agreed to by the 3 governments are relatively modest given the size of the project and the benefits of the project. The Leader of the Opposition spent a fair bit of time talking about the per capita contributions. Let me put the per capita contribution, or the per capita argument, into context. For instance, she says we are paying more per capita. It is irrelevant. We also have more sunshine per capita than any other state. We have more Labor opposition leaders per capita than any other state, we drink more per capita than any other state, etc, etc. We also weigh more per capita than any other state, or is that just the weight of opinion I hear. Let me summarise todays position in two simple points. We now have an impressive consortium ready and willing to build, own and operate the railway. The project is scheduled to start in June next year. I hope and trust all honourable members understand just how important the railway project is to the Northern Territory and to Australia. An independent study of the economic impact of the railway was completed earlier this year by Access Economics, probably the foremost economic analysts in Australia today, and here are some the key findings by Access Economics. Firstly, the national economic benefit. National GDP increases by $430m in 2000-2001, employment rises by 7000 in 2002-2003, annual imports increase by $300m. The net present value of private consumption Australia wide increases by about $700m. Secondly, lets look at the economic impact on South Australia. SA capital expenditure increases by $300m, South Australians will make up a significant part of the construction workforce constructing and rolling the rails for instance at Whyalla, and gross state product in South Australia dining the 4 construction years could increase by $370m, and in total by around $ 1100m over 25 years. Gross state product in employment dining the operational phase will rise by around .15%. Thirdly, but most importantly from our point of view, is the economic impact on the Northern Tenitory. Over the construction phase, the project contributes $850m to Tenitory final demand. Territory gross product rises by around $210m over 4769
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