Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 November 1999
Parliamentary Record 20
Debates for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Tuesday 23 November 1999 of its inspectors to technological advances as we move into the year 2000. Not only have strategies been put in place to ensure continued continuity of services into the new millennium, but also to keep pace with the dynamics of the industry itself. Officers of the department have also ensured that a Territory-based operator, Lasseters on Line, has lead all others in establishing the worlds fully regulated on-line casino. Lasseters is certainly to be congratulated on offering such a high quality product, the integrity of which has been put to the test by some of Australias most highly regarded computer system evaluators, including the University of Queensland. Lasseters has effectively expanded the borders of the Northern Territory to take its place in the world market. It has also added what the tourism industry has labelled the virtual tourist, and certainly in the future virtual tourists will add to the Territorys economy. It is essential that their virtual visits to licensed Internet gaming sites are every bit as exciting and safe as visits in the more traditional way. The Lasseters site does its bit to promote Territory icons such as Ayers Rock and the Olgas, indirectly promoting the Northern Territory as a place to visit. When you consider the hundreds of thousands of hits that that site receives, it would take a true pessimist to not believe that some of those virtual tourists wont become actual visitors into our region. In the area of liquor licensing, the government continues to lead the nation with a diverse range of programs and strategies to promote responsible liquor consumption. The Liquor Commission, its registry and its inspectors, together with the industry, have been changing the editorials in territory newspapers from reports about the incredible consequences of alcohol abuse to reports of commission and industry initiatives that are working to reduce problems. Theres still a lot of work to be done but certainly significant progress is being made in that area. In the service industry area of security licensing, the presence of security personnel at licensed liquor and gaming venues is an essential aspect of maintaining a safe environment for patrons who attend these venues. The relocation of private security licensing to the department has provided a much-improved information flow between gaming, liquor and private security jurisdictions. I have outlined some of the key strategies being employed by the racing and gaming and licensing branch within DIB. The department through its business and industry focus is also assisting in developing the competitive capacity of Territory businesses and facilitating investments in the Northern Territory. Initiatives being implemented by the Department of Industries and Business include the opening, of course, of the Territory Business Centres in Darwin, Alice Springs, Katherine and Tennant Creek. These centres are all up and running, and providing businesses or potential new business entrepreneurs with speedy and reliable information on a myriad of business programs, licensing, work health matters and so on. Included in this service is the new business growth program, which to date has had more than 25 applicants either taking advantage of or about to commence utilising the program. Establishing the Territory Business Centres is all about helping businesses do business by providing a one-stop shop for new and existing businesses. The same information that they provide is also available on-line, and thats in line with the Deputy Chief Ministers remarks about government going on-line. To that end, the department will also have within it an e-commerce unit to assist businesses with advice regarding going on-line, and directing them where they can go for help to develop their systems. That unit will be established with 3 people whose primary objective will be, by working independently with businesses and with other departmental staff and agencies, to develop and deliver a program to assist Territory businesses to develop e-business strategies and to establish in the national and international electronic marketplace, and also to demonstrate the role of e-business as part of the contemporary business culture that is certainly now very much the way to go for the future. Some members on the other side gave some examples of people doing business on-line. Thats a new advance within the department, that new e- commerce unit, which Im sure will help businesses to understand and to implement their business products on-line. In closing, I take this opportunity to place on the record my support and that of my Department of Industries and Business for not only this foundation but for all of the documents within the Achieving the Vision focus that the Chief Minister has provided. The objectives and the strategies of the Achieving the Vision statements made to parliament throughout this year by the Chief Minister are very clear and concise and the targets that have been laid down within them are certainly very achievable and measurable. It is a great platform for us to move forward into the new millennium and to take Territorians with us in achieving all of the things that have been set out in these 5 documents and the sixth document that is to come later this week. I commend the Chief Minister on his Achieving the Vision 4787
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