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 Today, the Territorys economy is a leader on a national front. The Treasurer has outlined our strong economic position, our low unemployment figures, and our sustained growth over many years. The Foundations for Our Future documents that have been delivered in this parliament over the past 3 sittings are important in that they set out the vision and the framework upon which the government is striving to develop the Northern Tenitory. Foundations for Our Future is essentially the governments business plan, and like any sound business plan aims to consolidate on the strengths and build on the opportunities. Foundations for Our Future No 5 sets out the strategies for government to further develop the service industry. This government has a strong record in assisting business and industry. This assistance extends across government agencies and is evident in the government proactive policies on business and industry. By building on our service industries such as information technology services and tourism, we reduce the reliance on natural resource-based industries that we have certainly banked our future on in the past. By facilitating diverse economic activities and developments, we are also creating opportunities for strategic alliances between companies. And through alliances, businesses not only gain the critical mass which is often needed to win major national and indeed international contracts, but alliances also bring new industry expertise to the NT. Again, these opportunities will in tum create more business activity. By diversifying our economic base, were also spreading our risks. The importance and the potential economic impact of the service industry is recognised and growing. By far the most dynamic service industry in the NT today is the tourism market. The Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism has detailed the importance of the tourism industry to our overall economic position. My Department of Industries and Business is certainly right behind the tourism industry, and recently the 1994 -1999 Tourism Development Master Plan was reviewed by the department. As the lead agency in the preparation of the new Tourism Development Master Plan that will carry us on to 2004, the department has consulted widely with stake-holders in this important service industry sector. The reviewed Tourism Development Master Plan is due for release by the end of this year. This plan flows on from the inaugural Tourism Development Master Plan and will provide tourism operators and investors and the wider population with a blueprint for infrastructure development for the next 5 years. Tourism, as we know, remains our largest single employer and is a key industry sector for many towns and communities. It is also an incredibly diverse industry with growing demand from national and international visitors for our unique tourism experiences. The impression our national and international visitors gain of the Northern Territory has a great deal to do with the degree of hospitality expressed by the people these visitors meet. Within my Department of Industries and Business is the Racing, Gaming and Licensing Division. I am pleased to state that this division is making a solid contribution to the development of the Territorys service industries. After all, service industries are the front line industries which greet our valued tourists. Since the amalgamation of licensing functions under the DIB umbrella there has been a refocusing of activities to provide a more efficient use of resources to enable increased levels of support to business development in the Territory. This, combined with greater scrutiny of relevant industry training standards, is expected to contribute to an increased range as well as a more professional level of service. Departmental inspectors are now authorised across the full range of activities of racing, gaming, liquor and private security. This means they are able to liaise with industry in a more productive way with positive dividends to increasing numbers of visitors to the Territory as well as Territorians themselves. The staff within the racing branch have also been involved in the recently completed government negotiations with industry for a 5 year funding package. We know that the annual Cup Carnivals continue to grow in stature with increased national interest and the influx of visitors to those Carnival periods has had very positive benefits to the hospitality and tourism industries. Further growth is certainly anticipated as the Darwin Cup, in particular, becomes a major drawcard on the national racing calendar. Government continues to encourage the vibrant Northern Territory sports betting industry also, and staff of my department have a responsible part to play in that regard. Territory sports bookmakers are the leaders in this field in Australia. The government ensures that control and regulatory systems keep up to date with ever-increasing technological and communication advances. Through these endeavours, operators can continue to pursue global markets with confidence. The gaming industry sector is being increasingly recognised for its entertainment value and licensed venues exist throughout the length and breadth of the Territory to provide this service. The department is keeping up to date with radical changes in this industry through ongoing exposure 4786