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




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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 Camels are very important area, and have a lot of potential for Central Australia. Mr Seidel was one of the first ones who knocked on the door when I became minister, so he is very keen. The gross value of live exports for 2002-03 is approximately $ lm for 1600 head, and current projections from Mr Seidel and the industry point to a demand of 20 000 head per year in less than a decade. We are also looking at a feasibility study for an export abattoir in Central Australia. This is a government funded study. We are looking at a purpose designed mini-abattoir in the Territory for multi-species, including camels, to be processed for export. I mentioned something about horticulture developments in Central Australia earlier in these sittings. It is mainly based on about 400 hectare of table grapes which yielded $20m in 2001-02. The whole industry at Ti Tree is to be commended, and I am working closely with the growers about infrastructure there, developing a program, as I said, to combat fruit fly in the whole of the region. We have given in-principle support for a Ti Tree horticultural infrastructure initiative, which identifies land for horticultural development in the Ti Tree region, as well as associated infrastructure. Negotiations on native title issues are advanced for three 100 hectare new farms on Pine Hill, and that is very important. Other significant horticultural development has been identified south of Alice at Deep Well and Orange Creek. I have mentioned the $6.2m over the next 12 months to do with Ilparpa Swamp, the sewage effluent treatment here in Alice Springs, and developing horticulture at the Arid Zone Research Institute. That is a fantastic project. I mentioned one of the other major announcements I have been involved in since I have been down here is the $3m for the Mereenie Loop Road, which has tourist implications - fantastic. Madam Acting Deputy Speaker, I have run out of time. I have really enjoyed coming here to Central Australia. I have enjoyed coming to the sittings. I believe they have been a great success. I compliment Madam Speaker for all her efforts. The people of Alice Springs got behind it. I enjoyed meeting a lot of people here. Today I have outlined some of the most important developments in my portfolios for this region. I believe it has a bright economic future in pastoral and horticultural ventures, but overriding all of that is really the tourism industry. I can assure the House that I and the agencies that fall within my portfolios are focussed on Central Australia, and will continue to work with the Central Australian communities to build on the good work done to date. Mrs BRAHAM (Braitling): Madam Acting Deputy Speaker, I wanted to make a few remarks on the Chief Ministers statement, particularly after some of the wide-ranging debates we have had during the week. I have lived in Alice Springs for 42 years now. This is my town and I really love Alice Springs. I would not have stayed here for so long if I did not. There are so many good things happening in this town that never receive the recognition they deserve. It always disturbs when political parties run smear campaigns and campaigns that distort the truth. Last night, I know I surprised some people when I grabbed a banner at that rally that said: I love this town. I did it purposely; I did it because I do believe that this town has a lot to offer people. When I hear people say that people are leaving because of crime, I question that. I have friends who have retired, and they are leaving to be with their family down south. I have friends who are leaving because their parents are getting elderly and they need to be with them. I have friends who are leaving because they have children at university and they need to support them. People come and go in this town for many reasons. Some may leave because of crime, but not all people leave because of crime, and that needs to be recognised. Also, a lot of people come here because they enjoy the lifestyle. I said last night that I still walk my dog, and quite often I walk the dog on my own - Graeme has been a little incapacitated lately with his foot and he has not been able to do it. Whenever I do it, it can be at all times of the night, and I do not ever want to stop that. I do not intend to stop my lifestyle because I am afraid. The worst thing you can do in a town like this is to back off and lock yourself in the house. The reason I stay here is because I love the lifestyle. It is interesting to note, the other night when some of the press went out looking for trouble, they said all they found were people jogging, walking, people with their kids - they could not find the so-called trouble. I say to the CLP that you should not always be highlighting crime as an element of this town because it is one part that we do not like. If you are going to be negative about it, at least try to be constructive. I am still waiting for what they are suggesting we do. I find the best way that I can help this town is to set up a good relationship with the police. I regularly ring Gary Manison or Trevor Bell and I indicate to them the hot spots, as we call them, in the 3978