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 no reference. So, its all very well for the Deputy Chief Minister to make a list of all the areas of diversity that weve currently seen, but its just naming - its just saying, look at the list. The secret is in the application, and when we see outcomes from those kind of innovations. The minister also identified four key areas for growth in our moves to diversify the Territory economy. He mentioned IT&T, business and financial services, services based on knowledge and expertise of Territorians, and tourism. Im not going to argue with this. These areas are logical and sensible and the breadth of the areas that can be explored within these four are considerable. My colleague, the member for Wanguri has already taken a look at some of those, and the member for Stuart, I believe, will be contributing to this debate. But I do note that the minister makes reference to the Aboriginal Arts Centre in Central Australia, the Aboriginal Art and Cultural Centre in Central Australia and gets quite considerable acclaim. Thats great. But what about the Aboriginal Cultural Centre for Darwin? It was, I believe, a 1994 Country Liberal Party promise. Yet in our capital city, which should have such an important cultural and tourist facility such as this (a foundation for the future), there is not even a mention of it. There is a mention of a similar one in Alice Springs but no mention of that kind of facility in Darwin. That is disgraceful. We are losing important tourist dollars from not having such a centre in Darwin, and now were going into more than five years of a commitment from the very flexible policies of the CLP which still have not eventuated. What does concern me, and Ive mentioned this throughout my speech tonight, is this Country Liberal Party governments ability to enable all Territorians to be part of the benefits to diversify our economy. The CLP simply cannot deliver on education, health services, jobs, or houses to thousands of Territorians. So how can this House, this Territory, possibly believe that you can deliver to all Territorians the benefits of this diversity? The Country Liberal Party, after 25 years in power, is very good on words, good on glossy brochures - this is the fifth one weve had - but when it comes to delivery, I am afraid this side of the House, and thousands of Territorians, say the more you talk, the less you act. Mr BALDWIN (Industries and Business): Mr Deputy Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is starting to believe her own rhetoric. I take pleasure in supporting ... Mr Stirling: Hah, like you dont believe anything, Tim! Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Mr Stirling: You dont believe in anything. Mr BALDWIN: I dont believe anything the member for Nhulunbuy says, Mr Deputy Speaker. That is for sure. Mr Stirling: You certainly dont believe in height restrictions. Mr BALDWIN: Height restrictions? Thats a good one. Mr Deputy Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise tonight to speak on this Foundations for Our Future document delivered by the Deputy Chief Minister. Predominantly in his address tonight, the Deputy Chief Minister detailed the governments focus on promoting potential new wealth generators for the Northern Territory and the focus is on diversifying our economy through service industry growth. And through diversification the economy becomes far more resilient to domestic and international pressures. When you consider how far the NT has come since being granted self-government in 1978, it is a credit to the free enterprise spirit and the famous can do attitude of Territorians and certainly the sound economic policies put in place by this government, which has seen the Territory thrive and prosper and become the envy of other jurisdictions. Self-government effectively saw the handing over to the NT of an archaic Commonwealth government infrastructure and bureaucracy, schools and power stations, hospitals, emergency service facilities, and the port. In real terms, the whole gamut of public infrastructure was in need of upgrading and/or replacing. In the early years of self-government the entire Northern Territory was essentially a former Commonwealth public service out-post. The public sector was the big employer - pure and simple. So from the very early days the need to find our own identity, diversify our economy, forge our industry sectors, establish new markets and weather-proof our economy from outside pressures was essential to our survival. Im proud to say that this government got on with that job from day one. 4785