Debates Day 3 - Thursday 1 May 2003
Parliamentary Record 11
Debates 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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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Thursday 1 May 2003 time of year. We only have to go to debates in this House just this week when she stated - and this is the shadow minister for tourism, the member for Araluen, promoting Alice Springs to the world: He expects that they will come here in the stinking heat of Alice Springs. Ms CARNEY: A point of order, Madam Speaker! The minister is misleading the House by referring to that quotation. It is not the case that my comments were made in relation to promoting Alice Springs to the rest of the world. They were made in relation to the ministers mismanagement. Madam SPEAKER: There is no point of order. Mr HENDERSON: Madam Speaker, I am quoting the member for Araluen. I am not paraphrasing, I am quoting. This is what the member for Araluen thinks of Alice Springs in the height o f the summer here: The stinking heat of Alice Springs. She then goes on to say: Well, member for Wanguri, when and if you decide to come to Alice Springs a bit more often, you will experience the extreme heat that we have in Alice Springs, unlike the humidity there in Darwin. I love the heat of Alice Springs; I love the humidity of Darwin. For the shadow minister to talk about Alice Springs in such totally derogatory terms is extraordinary. We will certainly make sure that every tourism operator in Central Australia hears her attitude. She then goes on - and, again, members on that side have to be very careful about how they portray Alice Springs. In another debate in this town, again, what sort of statement is this in trying to encourage tourists to Alice Springs: The only thing that is happening with the alcohol restrictions is that the drunks - and that is what they are; they are stinking drunks who obstruct, spit, swear and make life unpleasant fo r all o f us. Those people are lining up for two hours to buy their grog. What sort of portrayal of her own community is the member for Araluen and shadow tourism minister portraying to potential tourists to Central Australia? She is an absolute disgrace and, if anybody should be dismissed from a portfolio, it should be the member for Araluen for talking this wonderful town down. Moving on, in our international trade strategy, we are moving to increase exports by 40%. Niche markets are being carved out in Central Australia, including computer software developments, information mapping, and alternative energy developments. Just a couple of weeks ago, I met Brendan Meaney who is putting together a really exciting initiative in Cool Communities. My department is working hard on the Northern Territorys first energy policy, and Brendan and his Cool Community groups are formulating a proposal for solar power and energy efficient residential and commercial buildings. That is the type of innovation that is going on in Central Australia, not mentioned by anyone on the other side. We talked about pastoral and horticultural industries in the Centre and my colleague the Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries will talk about that more later. Central Australia, as we know, is resource rich. We have mineral production in the region generating more than $330m and employing over 900 people; and it is going to get better. As a result o f this government working cooperatively with the land councils and the mining industries, we have opened up over 350 000 km2 of land for the mining industry for exploration, in just 21 months in office; five times more in 21 months than the previous government achieved in its last four years - a wonderful outcome for the Northern Territory in mineral exploration. The Leader of the Oppositions ignorant comments regarding the processing of exploration licences indicates he obviously does not know what he is talking about. In his slander of the Northern Land Council - saying that they were deliberately obstructing the processing of exploration licenses - he obviously is not aware that quite some months ago, after negotiations and discussions with this government, the NLC no longer automatically objects to every application under the expedited provisions of the Native Title Act. Licenses are being granted. They are living in the past in not recognising that great work going on in the mining industry is certainly behind what the government is doing. We are also negotiating with the Minerals Council and the land councils for amendments to Part 4 of the Aboriginal (Northern Territory) Land Rights Act to improve the administrative processes in order to achieve greater access. The opportunity for the government to go to the Commonwealth with the support of the industry, land councils and the government to achieve amendments to the Land Rights Act is very exciting. We are close to that outcome, something that the previous government never achieved. If we look at one of the most effective ways to judge a regions economic growth, we need to look at what is happening in our major towns. The ABS 3951
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