Territory Stories

Questions Day 1 - Tuesday 17 February 2004



Questions Day 1 - Tuesday 17 February 2004

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Parliamentary Record 17


Question for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; Questions for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005




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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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QUESTIONS - Tuesday 17 February 2004 upgrading passenger terminals to service The Ghan and to help make this new tourism venture possible. Aligned with this - because the timing has been good - there have been recent arrivals of a number of cruise liners and the visiting American Navy ships. This wet season boost is set to continue with ... Mr Maley inteijecting. Ms MARTIN: It is interesting that the member for Goyder does not want to hear about the boost to the economy. The opposition can stand there saying, Whats happening with small business?. This, Madam Speaker, is what is happening with small business. Six cruise ships are set to come to Darwin between now and the end of the month - the member for Goyder might be interested in this - the Adonia, Star Princess, Europa, Aurora, Silver Shadow and Prisendam. These follow earlier visits to Darwin by Seabourn Spirit in November, the Silver Shadow, Columbus and Deutschland. I believe we are seen as a safe and exciting destination in Darwin and that is why we have had the increased number of cruise visits to our port and to our city with a $28m injection from The Ghan and $4m into the economy from those visiting ships. There is significant business generated by the ships demand on local suppliers and local services, again, a benefit for small business right across the Territory. We have an opportunity in tourism to build those links between air, sea and the rail - exciting possibilities that we are working on with the operators. The Ghan arrives at four this afternoon, and if people were impressed by the kilometre length of the first one, this third Ghan this afternoon is one carriage longer. I wish all those passengers a welcome.. Cotton - Cultivation in the Northern Territory Mr WOOD to MINISTER for PRIMARY INDUSTRY and FISHERIES In the NT News in November last year, the Chief Minister said: Ms Martin said the growing o f cotton would be banned outright once the existing genetically modified cotton trials wrapped up. 'The issue o f cotton growing in the Northern Territory has been very controversial, she said yesterday. We have listened carefully to the community. I think a very sensible and logical decision is to say no cotton growing in the Northern Territory'. As Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries, do you agree with the Chief Ministers statements. If so, could you tell the parliament what are the sensible and logical scientific reasons - not the political reasons - that your government now says no GM cotton, nor any kind of cotton, will be grown in the whole 1.3 million km2 of the Northern Territory, and why the cotton trials will not continue in Katherine? Could you also please state what legislation your government will use to introduce agricultural censorship - 1 have used a borrowed line there - to ban the growing of cotton in the Northern Territory, and when will this piece of political hysteria appear? Madam SPEAKER: Thank you for your short question, member for Nelson! Mr WOOD: Madam Speaker, the question was probably as short as the answer will be relevant. ANSWER Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Nelson for his statement - question, I mean. Yes, you are absolutely right. The Chief Minister made a statement that there will be no cotton growing in the Northern Territory and, yes, I agree with the Chief Minister. There has been a lot of concern about genetically modified cotton. The reality is that it is not possible to grow the common variety of cotton in the Territory unless we apply significant amounts of pesticides because of the nature of the Territory and insect presence in the Territory. Yes, we have a vast expanse of land in the Territory, many thousands of square kilometres. The reality is that cotton can grow only in certain areas of the Territory, depending on the geography and the availability of water. I understand that the member travelled south recently where he had a look at the cotton industry and is probably a convert of the cotton industry. I suppose, since he has been persuaded that cotton is okay and that we can grow it, he will go to Litchfield Shire and present his case to his constituents and urge them to grow cotton in Litchfield. I think he is going to get the same reaction as other areas of the Territory and, as a matter of fact, other states in Australia. The question about genetically modified cotton is still out there. It has not been answered conclusively. People are still very concerned about products with genetic modification, and it is quite right that the government - any government - has to listen to the people. It is not an hysterical approach; it is something we have considered carefully. My department, together with the Department of Justice, 892