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 is looking at the complexity of this issue. You can control what you grow in your area. You do not have to control specifically the product; you can control the application of pesticides, you can apply water plans and you can effectively stop growing certain products in your jurisdiction. The government is looking very carefully at what we are doing, and we respond to the call of the people. At the same time, we have committed to continue the trials of cotton and they will be concluded. The Chief Minister and I will be meeting with the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Cotton Cooperative Research Centre, and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cotton Australia to discuss this issue further. Population Strategy Mr MILLS to CHIEF MINISTER The Treasurers mid-year report predicts the Territory population to continue its downward spiral. Where is the population strategy this government promised almost three years ago? Your government website is still promising to have it finished by May 2003. Chief Minister, Territorians are still waiting and, meanwhile, the population is in decline. ANSWER Madam Speaker, if the Opposition Leader had a memory, he might remember an answer I gave in this House about the population policy ... Mr Mills: No, the strategy. Ms MARTIN: Call it what you like. It is very important for the Territory that we look at all components of building our economy and building the population to support that. This government has had a reasonable amount of criticism from the other side of the House about writing a report, doing a strategy, doing a review. I remember standing in this House saying: Yes, we will deal with the population strategy, but we have other elements that we have put in place and we are working on exactly that. We are working in the area of the Minister for Business, Industry and Resource Development in migration. We have resources to work further with the Commonwealth and to use the capacity that we have not been using very effectively so far to attract overseas migration. That is one component. It is happening, and we are doing the work. Another component is marketing the Territory and our opportunities. In the last eight months we have been doing that very successfully around Australia. A CEO of a major national company last week, who was visiting Darwin, said, The image of the Territory where I am is one of go-ahead, it is dynamic and it has really raised the profile of the Territory, the marketing you have been doing, as a place to live, work and invest. We are doing that work. You can say, Where is your strategy, where is your piece of paper?, we will get there to the piece of paper. We are doing the work. We are making the strategic decisions and getting about and doing it. And I make no apology. I would rather be out there selling the Territory, selling the opportunities, looking at ways that we can raise the profile of the Territory and encourage people to think about moving here, talking about the advantages of living in the Territory - Darwin, the most affordable capital city for housing. It is a fantastic message to be able to sell around the rest of Australia. When you are in somewhere like Sydney, the average price of a house is something like $600 000. A young couple will never afford that house. Here in the Territory the median price of a house is somewhere between $213 000 and $214 000. It is affordable. We know what a great lifestyle we have. So while we are out selling the Territory, marketing our opportunities, using opportunities like the freight train and The Ghan and the publicity we have with that, the Opposition Leaders best response to that is to say, Where is your strategy? I think the point is made. Government Training Strategy Mr BONSON to MINISTER for EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION and TRAINING Training is a top priority for the Territory under the Martin Labor government. Can the minister please outline to the Assembly the success being achieved in this vital area? ANSWER Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Millner for his question. The whole area of Employment, Education and Training, particularly training, is an issue that this side of House and this government takes extremely seriously indeed. Our training efforts to this stage of the life of this government stand in stark contrast to the achievements made by members opposite in the days that they filled government ranks. It really is a classic difference, if you like, between the previous government and this one. We will be investing over $160m, well above our weight in per capita terms compared to other jurisdictions in Australia - $160m plus into training over the next three years. 893