Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 1 May 2003



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 1 May 2003

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Parliamentary Record 11


Debates for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005




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 - Thursday 1 May 2003 The Central Australian region plays an important role in the Northern Territorys trade activity, as I said earlier. Tourism remains the Centres main trade commodity; almost 150 000 tourists visited the region in 2001-02 spending $114m. The government has lobbied long and hard to bring Virgin Blue to the Northern Territory. In fact, it was a key election commitment we made in the last week running up to the 2001 election. What was the attitude of the CLP at the time when we made that election announcement? Ms Carney: To make you do your job and deliver! Mr HENDERSON: Let us go back and have a bit of a history lesson because the member for Araluen is not very good on history or the truth. Let us go back and have a history lesson. The then Treasurer, the member for Katherine, criticised the governments efforts to bring Virgin Blue to the Northern Territory. It would never have happened if the CLP had, unfortunately, been returned to government. We had the vision and we delivered, despite the member for Araluen very dishonestly trying to claim the credit for that. Let us go back to some quotes ... Ms Carney: Oh, please do! Please do! Let us have a look. Mr HENDERSON: Come in, spinner! Member for Araluen, come in spinner. This is the CLPs attitude towards Virgin Blue; it is on the record. The member for Katherine said that we should not be throwing money at Virgin Blue to bring them to the Northern Territory prior to the election. We then had the member for Araluen - the same member for Araluen who is trying to claim credit for bringing Virgin Blue to Alice Springs - saying in the parliament on 23 October 2001: This government, meaning the ALP government, elects to support Sir Richard Branson over a local operator, which is a disgrace. Ms CARNEY: A point of order, Madam Speaker! The minister should do me and people listening the courtesy of quoting the entire extract and not just one sentence from it, because he knows that statement was made in the context of a proposal for government to assist the Flight West proposal. Madam SPEAKER: Member for Araluen, resume your seat. There is no point of order. Mr HENDERSON: Madam Speaker, there is absolutely no point o f order. You cannot go back on your own words, member for Araluen. Ms Carney inteijecting. Madam SPEAKER: Order, member for Araluen! Mr HENDERSON: ...elects to support Sir Richard Branson over a local operator which is a disgrace. That is hardly a welcoming statement for Virgin Blue to Alice Springs. The Flight West operation was never going to fly ... Ms Carney inteijecting. Madam SPEAKER: Minister, would you just cease for a moment? Member for Araluen, your inteijections are becoming quite disorderly. Ms Carney: They are necessary, Madam Speaker. Madam SPEAKER: Just cease. I give you fair warning. Mr HENDERSON: Madam Speaker, the member for Araluen certainly does not like to revisit history because she has a very poor record. We then go on to the member for Drysdale who made an infamous quote in this parliament on 27 February 2002 when he accused Virgin Blue, and I quote: They have a shoddy fleet. Again, what sort of welcoming statement is that for Virgin Blue to Alice Springs? We then have Darwins Lord Mayor, Peter Adamson - who used to grace the CLP benches, now Lord Mayor for Darwin, but certainly very much a CLP Lord Mayor; he has not taken his colours down from the mast. He ridiculed our support for Virgin Blue Airlines, saying: It is a ridiculous proposition. The CLP have never supported Virgin Blue Airlines, certainly at the inception stages. To try and claim credit now for all of the hard work of Tourism ministers - minister Stirling, myself and minister Bums, who finally delivered - she is being totally dishonest. But she has a track record of being dishonest. We continue to try to build tourism. Times are very tough, and we have put an extra $ lm into the marketing budget post-Iraq and SARS. It is important that all of us, as members of the Northern Territory parliament, promote the Northern Territory as being a wonderful, exciting and safe place to visit. It is our responsibility; every single member. However, it is more important, as a shadow minister who is supposed to be supporting tourism in the Northern Territory, particularly in Central Australia where she holds a seat - and what sort o f language do we have from the member for Araluen, in trying to paint an exciting, wonderful place to visit that Alice Springs truly is? It certainly is a fantastic place this 3950