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 distribution in the region. This was detailed in Foundation Three, which was presented by my colleague the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Development in August. Also, thanks to our geography, we have much in common physically with other parts of the world. The great majority of the worlds population - around 75% - live in regions with striking similarities to either the arid zone of central Australia or our tropical north. Many of these regions face challenges that we in the Territory have grappled with, and often overcome, ranging from the prevention and control of insect-borne diseases such as malaria to sustainable desert living. From government agencies to businesses and educational and health institutions, the Territory is a land of innovators whose knowledge and expertise are respected and sought after beyond our borders. Our physical characteristics are also a major factor in attracting tourists to the Territory. Uluru/Kata Tjuta and Kakadu National Parks may be the jewels in the crown as far many international tourists are concerned, but other areas of the Territory are rapidly earning similar icon status. The Territory government, in partnership with industry and business, has led the development of new tourism experiences showcasing our natural and cultural assets, supported by appropriate and carefully targeted tourism infrastructure. The Territorys vast distances and isolation have given us extensive experience in doing business and delivering services long-distance, and with the explosion in the use of IT&T, were likely to become even more expert. Adult Territorians are already the nations second most frequent users of the Internet and computers at home and at work. The Territory is already taking steps to capitalise on its advantages in these areas. Recent or current developments and initiatives by both government and the private sector in the service/knowledge industry include the following. The Territory government recently called for expressions of interest in the construction of convention centres in Darwin and Alice Springs. Marketing the Territory to this sector will be an important factor in boosting off-season and shoulder-season visitation, and help to create a year-round tourism industry. Figures show that people who travel to a new destination as convention or business visitors often return as recreational tourists, bringing partners or family. The Northern Territorys Outback Centre in Darling Harbour will provide personal and interactive information with a direct booking service to Sydney Olympic visitors, including international media. This will ensure opportunities generated by the Olympic Torch Relay, which commences at Ayers Rock in June, are maximised. The steady development of Darwin as a cruise ship port over the past few years has seen two cruise lines use Darwin as a port of origin and destination this year: the Norwegian Capricorn Line and Spice Island Cruises. In July, Spice Island Cruises launched a new itinerary between Bali and Australia, using Darwin as a base. Wind technology is being used at Epenarra in the Barkly Region to supplement traditional energy sources, resulting in cost savings and reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. The Northern Territory government, through its Power and Water Authority, continues to support research and development of alternative energy sources. One of the largest Australian-owned computer hardware manufacturers, ASI Solutions, announced last month it would establish a manufacturing plant in Darwin. The plant will be operational in 2000. Lasseters Hotel Casino has become the worlds first government-approved on-line casino, offering a 24-hour on-line gambling service to clients throughout the world. The Northern Territory governments policy of outsourcing its IT&T, legal, accounting and audit services will provide hundreds of millions of dollars worth of contracts for local business along with opportunities for further developing their skills and capacity. The research and development expertise of Wildlife Management International, based at Crocodylus Park in Darwin, is being applied world wide, including in Thailand, China, Cuba, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sarawak and Colombia. Menzies School of Health Research, established with NT government core funding, is receiving national and international recognition for its groundbreaking work on an effective malaria vaccine and drug development, as well as its work on scabies, renal disease, streptococcal infection, rheumatic fever and respiratory infections. As detailed in Foundation Six, Encourage Strong Regions and Communities, the Katherine region is to go on-line through the Katherine regional portal. Simply, this is a community-owned and operated Internet site holding local information and offering business services such as e-mail. A new info tech joint venture between Territorian firm Octa4, and Philippine, Malaysian and US interests has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The joint ventures operational hub for the AsiaPacific Region will be Darwin. 4775

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