Territory Stories

Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 November 1999



Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 November 1999

Other title

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





Publisher name

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES - Tuesday 23 November 1999 Australian backpackers only make up 2% of the backpacker market in the Territory, so surely theres scope for growth in this segment. Given the demise of Daryl Somers from being the face of the Northern Territory in enticing interstate travellers to the Territory, Im interested to hear from the minister in his closing remarks as to what the marketing experts are thinking about new marketing strategies for the Territory as a destination, and what time frame we are looking at for this to be unveiled. The ministers statement is a bit thin on marketing. We have the products, the quality, a maturing tourism industry sector, and improving tourist infrastructure, but marketing is the key to ongoing growth in this sector of the economy. The minister mentioned the outback centre at Darling Harbour and increased access to the tourism product via the Internet which is good news, but otherwise the market initiatives appear a bit thin on the ground. I cant emphasise this enough. We will have to work harder to keep this sector growing as domestic and international competition will become even more ferocious in the years to come. I will keenly watch the developments of marketing strategies of the tourism industry in the Territory as I believe there is huge potential for business to sell direct to the customer and bypass the additional cost of the travel bureau agency operators. This is one way where the tyranny of distance does not hinder the Territorys economy, and the government should, through its own IT agencies, assist the industry in recognising the importance of the Internet in marketing and selling their own business. I have spoken to one operator in the Territory who is amazed by the growth in her business since she went on-line, selling product direct. In fact, she has problems keeping up with demand. Ive heard of businesses in Nhulunbuy having problems selling fishing lures locally as people are buying via the net at cheaper prices, from interstate and overseas. The potential for this business to diversify from selling fishing lures to fishing tours is an example as to what is now possible with the new technology available to us. I am speaking now to the information technology part of the statement. Its pleasing at last to see committed government focus in this area. In fact, as recently as 1997, there was no ministerial portfolio for IT, and it was Labor who announced a portfolio in this area first, which the government then had to follow. Members inteijecting. Mr HENDERSON: This is true. The focus on the Internet as being a service delivery tool, both to the business community and the public, should certainly be a focal point when looking at how to diversify the Territory economy and to reduce the cost and complexity of service delivery across the huge land mass of the Territory. The concept announced in the statement regarding the establishment of an electronic gateway to the Northern Territory is but a narrow part of the complex picture. The challenge will be for the government to determine a strategic plan for the implementation of the concept which brings the community with it rather than forcing the community to embrace it. Once the implementation strategy is determined, the issue of who will manage the gateway and how it will be managed to meet both government and private sector interests will also provide challenges amongst competing interests. Once the gateway is up and running, the Territory economy will truly be open to national and global competitive forces. Government tenders will be drawn to the attention of the national and global business community in a more easily accessible format. Already tenders are available electronically, but a single point of entry for the global community to the Territory business and government will make this information more easily accessible to the global community. Some in the local IT industry take the view that government should leave this entirely to commercial interests as that commercial provider will link the government sites. Others in the business community see that government should host the gateway and provide the links to business. There will have to be an extensive consultation period leading to a strategic plan being floated to all stakeholders to ensure that the Territory community is on the bus in this issue, and that everybody is on the bus together. The issue of ongoing management in terms of the commercial side of the gateway, fee for service issues, and technical maintenance and management will also provide challenges. One of the exciting prospects for this gateway and the delivery of government service is that it be life-event orientated. That is, for example, if you are about to have a baby, you may want to go to a link called, for example, Having a baby in the NT. That will then link you to all service providers such as the health department, midwife services, obstetricians, registry of births etc, rather than having to think about who does this, who does that, and making

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain the names, voices and images of people who have died, as well as other culturally sensitive content. Please be aware that some collection items may use outdated phrases or words which reflect the attitude of the creator at the time, and are now considered offensive.

We use temporary cookies on this site to provide functionality.
By continuing to use this site without changing your settings, you consent to our use of cookies.