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 once and, I think, Singapore once. These are major trading partners with a major impact on what we do. I understand the Chief Minister has now been to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Hong Kong. Nonetheless, they are replacing a CLP government that had ministers in Asia, virtually monthly. We had four or five minister who went to Asia monthly. This level of neglect must be addressed. You have to get over to where our markets are and you have to promote them. I was disappointed that the Minister for Business, Industry and Resource Development spoke about table grapes yesterday and completely neglected the various other industries in this area. Therefore, I am glad that has been addressed to some extent here. I hope that he gets out to the date farm and the camel farm. I hope he realises that, in his portfolio area, there is more than grapes. There is an incredible potential here for this to be debated in this House. Yet again, we have an opportunity where these things could be catalogued, debated for the people of Alice Springs, and we could all make our contribution. Unfortunately, with two minutes, the people in the gallery will hear a short speech read by the minister and my short two minute rejoinder. This should have been brought on as a significant issue for parliament to hear, and I am disappointed that the minister has neglected to support the area. I hope he takes his responsibility seriously and starts to make some moves on visiting our near northern neighbours. Mr HENDERSON (Business, Industry and Resource Development): Madam Speaker, it is good to see that the shadow minister has finally taken an interest in this area. This government developed and delivered the first International Trade Strategy that has ever been produced in the Northern Territory; they never did it when they were in government. We have committed to targets in that strategy. We have committed to increasing the volume and value of non-mineral exports in the Northern Territory by 40% over the next few years, and it is a significant outcome that we will achieve. It is not achieved by ministers junketing around the region at a whim, having jollies, which is essentially what the previous government used to do. It is about being targeted; it is about being strategic. I am pleased to announce - and it is interesting that shadow minister takes his responsibilities so seriously that he has not realised that I have only just come back from a significant trip to the Philippines where we gained very good outcomes for the people of the Northern Territory for significant business export sectors, particularly live cattle trade. I will be reporting on those in the adjournment speech tonight. Reports noted pursuant to Sessional Order. VISITORS Madam SPEAKER: Chief Minister, while you are preparing there, I notice the lovely T-shirts from Larapinta Primary School in the gallery. On behalf o f all members, I extend a warm welcome, Larapinta Primary School. Members: Hear, hear! Madam SPEAKER: For the information o f the students, we are now going into second-reading speeches. The Chief Minister will introduce a bill. DESERT KNOWLEDGE AUSTRALIA BILL (Serial 140) Bill presented and read a first time. Ms MARTIN (Chief Minister): Madam Speaker, I move that the bill be now read a second time. As has been said a number of times before - and I am very pleased to restate it - this is, indeed, an historic occasion. It is an honour for me to recognise these historic sittings with the introduction of a bill into this Assembly for the establishment o f a statutory corporation entitled Desert Knowledge Australia. Desert Knowledge will seize upon the increasing importance of knowledge-based industries to the global economy, and will build a major new sector to the economy of Central Australia. Madam Speaker, as you know first-hand, we are sitting in the heartland of desert Australia. There is, around this vast arid region of our island continent, an enormous amount of formal scientifically-based knowledge, and an equally important and large amount of know-how or tacit knowledge. The know-how or tacit knowledge comes o f living and working in a desert environment and, o f course, a good deal of this knowledge has been accumulated over thousands of years by indigenous Australians o f the region. This is just one of the exciting aspects of Desert Knowledge. It will provide a major opportunity for indigenous people to use their knowledge in a way that is empathetic to their cultural, social and economic interests. It will contribute to lifting the living standards and opportunities for indigenous people, and provide the basis for a partnership with other Australians in investing and distributing these benefits. It will be important for Australians living 3940
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