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 clubs, gin slings overlooking the Perth skyline - are not a substitute for increasing their profit range. A number are starting to realise that setting up in Darwin, and working out of Darwin, is the most effective way they can look after their businesses off-shore from Darwin. I repeat again that anyone who thinks they could service the north sea oil fields from Moscow would be laughed at. Yet we still have people who think that Perth, which is further away again than Moscow from Aberdeen, is okay to operate out of. But a local Territory company, which also has had the foresight to position itself in regards to off-shore oil and gas, is an internationally accredited firm, Universal Engineering. The Baker Hughes group, which is listed as one of the worlds top 300 companies, is one company that is setting up in Darwin. The company Baker Hughes Inteq and Baker Oil Tools recently set up in the Trade Development Zone. That is Australias only export processing zone. It is set up there for its operations in the oil industry throughout northern Australia, Asia and the Pacific. That particular group provides everything required by clients searching for hydro carbons or gas, and that is everything from planting the wells, supplying the engineering, to running the job and provision of all equipment involved. Aside from the obvious benefits of location and the export processing zone, Darwin is a modem hub. It provides multi-modal transport infrastructure and it provides world class communications and facilities. Infrastructure coming on line includes, as all members would know, the completion of the East Arm port. There is the Alice Springs to Darwin railway which we have just had a reasonably detailed discussion on. Regular shipping into the Asian region and Bali domestic and international flights also go towards making Darwin an attractive location for these companies. As I said earlier, Universal Engineering, a Darwin-based company which is primarily focused on servicing the oil and gas industry in the Timor Sea, offers fabrication, welding, and machine shop and fitting services. It has become internationally accredited, and it is a credit to all the staff involved in that particular company. Other companies positioning themselves for the future include the recently opened Aker Shore Base and Upstream Petroleum. They are companies which have seen the way of the future. That future is in the supply and support services. I commend the 5th Foundation statement and wholeheartedly endorse its contents. This Territory government will continue the work to grow activities that will enable us to service our region. It will enable us to create jobs and activities for Territorians, and it will enable us to create a climate which will bring new Territorians into the Territory to pick up on the jobs which are being created, and therefore grow this Territory and grow opportunities for young Territorians into the future. Ms MARTIN (Opposition Leader): Mr Deputy Speaker, I cant say that I, or any Territorian, would argue with die directions of the statement or the logic on which those directions are based. Of course, economies are changing, moving from a reliance on primary industry and manufacturing ,to a service and knowledge base. And, yes, the Territory is certainly part of that change. Mining used to be the mainstay of the Tenitory economy, after direct funding from Canberra, but over the last decade weve seen a dramatic rise in the services sector, which now comprises roughly about 30% of our employment. Tourism has been the growth area over this decade, and tourism should be able to maintain its position as a major contributor to the Territory economy. We have such tremendous natural features, and with the growth of the eco-tourism market, our confidence in our tourism potential, and the cunent reality, is certainly not misplaced. The past decade has also seen the growth in the professional and business sectors in the Territory. Home-grown expertise in health and education, in technology and in business. We have exported that expertise to our north, and the potential for growth in these sectors is strong. East Timor is just one example, and one very relevant example. The opportunities for Territory businesses might not be as great as initially thought in this newly emerging nation, although the jury is still out on just how we will fare competing in the United Nations environment with its bureaucratic tangles and its entrenched business relationships. But the opportunities, in an ongoing sense, for exporting our expertise in health fields, education, public administration and business management are certainly there to be grasped, and hopefully we will be able to make the most of that opportunity over the years, maybe the decades, to come. The Deputy Chief Minister lists some of the Country Liberal Partys achievements to date - fifteen of them, in fact. In themselves, these achievements are laudable; initiatives we would all be proud of. But there are some interesting threads throughout these 15 listed achievements. One is that this government has had to be poked and
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