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 mutually beneficial, long lasting relationships with its clients. Macmahon Holdings is one of Australias leading civil engineering and construction groups. They have significant experience in civil engineering and bulk earthworks in Australias remote areas. John Holland Group is an Australian civil engineering and construction company that has substantial international operations and expertise in rail infrastructure and maintenance. MPG Logistics came about as a result of this years merger between PGA Logistics and the contract logistics business of Mayne Nickless. It has forged a company that is the largest provider of outsourced logistics in Australia providing sea, road and rail forwarding services, regional distribution, warehousing and logistics planning. MPG has interests in Australia, Malaysia, Thailand and Southern China and they see strong opportunities here. Hutchinson Port Holdings also has an association with the consortium. This international company has a 58% share of the port of Rotterdam. They own all three London Ports, and are in the process of taking over the operations of the Panama Canal. They currently handle about 10% of the global container traffic. Barclay Mowlem, John Holland and Macmahon will be involved in building the railway. Rail is a key part of their business and all have experience in the remote areas of the Territory. Genesee and Wyoming and MPG Logistics will provide the framework for a successful domestic freight handling and freight forwarding business. The association with Hutchison will provide the opportunity to go beyond the domestic market and develop the international link based on landbridging. This project is not one for the short term, although the benefits to the Territory and South Australia from the construction phase will provide a considerable boost to our economies over this period. It is over the long run, as shippers, exporters, and importers come on board that the project will show its benefits. So what can we expect? Weve heard the figures, but let me go through them once again. They are based on work by Access Economics and include conservative assumptions in relation to landbridge trade. During the three year construction phase, National GDP will increase by $660m, and Territory GSP will increase by $200m. Employment during the construction phase will increase by at least 7100 nationally. During a 20 year operational phase from 2003/04 to 2024/25, the National GDP will increase by $4500m the Territory GSP will increase by approximately $3000m, and South Australias GSP will increase by approximately $3000m. These forecasts highlight a shift in economic activity from the- eastern seaboard to the central regions of Australia. The consortium itself estimates Territory employment will increase by up by 2000 jobs during construction. As reported by Booz Allen & Hamilton, the benefit/cost ratio for the rail project was 1.88, confirming its economic viability. But for Territorians the railway has always been about more than figures or lines on a graph. To Territorians, the project represents the completion of a link missing for over a century. We have had many false starts, and hopes over the years. I was shown a postcard from the early 1980s the other day, showing a set of rails heading across a desert with the words Territorians have a one track mind emblazoned on the bottom. What the railway signifies to the rest of Australia is the importance of rural Australia, the importance of the Australia outside the large eastern seaboard cities. It represents a shift in focus, leading the development of regional and rural Australia at the commencement of the 21st Century. This government is making sure Territory businesses get every opportunity to make the most of the construction of the railway. The consortium was required, as part of the bidding process, to lodge a local industry participation plan. This plan will be included in the concession deed the governments and the consortium will be entering into. The plan provides for 70% of the value of construction to be spent in the Territory and South Australia. This represents about $350m to Territory businesses. Thats the opportunity, but Territory businesses will have to work hard to provide quality and value for money. To help, the government has made sure the plan includes provision for monthly reporting of tenders let, and a three month forward plan of the consortiums requirements, leaving plenty of time for the preparation of tenders by local industry. We will encourage joint ventures between NT and SA companies where this will provide value for money. In addition, the NT Industry Search and Opportunities Office will be part of the procurement team, offering advice and assistance to the consortium. There remains some months of work before contractual arrangements can be finalised. Nevertheless much has been achieved to date. The Territory and Territorians everywhere have waited a long time for this project. W ithin a few days of 4741
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