Debates Day 3 - Thursday 1 May 2003
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
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Thursday 1 May 2003 in remote and regional Australia, in working to enhance access to equivalent opportunities and services that their counteiparts enjoy in the cities. This must go some way to supporting people in the areas who choose to continue living in the region. Stabilising the population of arid Australia is an important benefit arising from this development, from which all Australians will gain. It is equally important to include the people of the inland desert network; those people living in places like Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Broken Hill, Mt Isa, the upper Spencer Gulf, Kalgoorlie and Laverton, and the people of more remote locations living in indigenous communities, pastoral leases and mining sites widely scattered throughout the interior. They will also be beneficiaries of this major new knowledge-based initiative for Australias arid region. It will also be international in its outlook, seeking to create wealth through the export of its intellectual capital and drawing intellectual capital to itself from around the globe. While being broadly focussed in its outlook, there nevertheless remains the provision in the bill, as would be expected by honourable members, that the corporation must conduct its affairs in a manner that directs benefits to the Territory. It will reflect the important themes of social harmony, sustainability and wealth creation, ensuring that no individual thing gets out of balance with the others. The statutory corporation is designed to be the umbrella body that will facilitate the development of numerous initiatives for social and economic growth in desert Australia. So far, these initiatives have included: the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre, a $94m program over seven years, headquartered here in Alice Springs, to commence operations on 1 July this year; the Desert Knowledge Precinct, which will become the physical face of Desert Knowledge Australia in a major program of capital developments in the Arid Zone Research Institute area; the precinct development enabling the Desert Knowledge initiative to support the Desert Peoples Centre, a major initiative of indigenous people involving the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education and the Centre for Appropriate Technology. Plans for this institution are being prepared for its development in the Desert Knowledge Precinct; an investment of $2.2m in headworks for the Desert Knowledge Precinct, which will commence in the forthcoming financial year as stage 1 of the overall development; and future initiatives including a graduate school in Desert Knowledge, an international desert innovation centre, and a cultural centre. It is not intended that Desert Knowledge Australia will have a tight regulatory role over these initiatives, because each will have its own management and reporting responsibilities to its own governing body. Rather, the Desert Knowledge Australia statutory corporation will be a facilitator that identifies opportunities for social and economic growth, brings the necessary interest groups together, and assists in establishing viable business developments. To be a part of the Desert Knowledge Australia umbrella, these business developments will need to be involved in innovation and the creation and dissemination of knowledge. The corporation will promote Desert Knowledge through facilitating partnerships, networks and the like, drawing new resources and initiatives into the economy o f arid Australia. It will enter into agreements with like-minded institutes and agencies worldwide as part of this promotion. It will encourage and facilitate the development of a body of knowledge and expertise relevant to deserts and arid lands; encourage improvements to the economies and livelihoods of communities in deserts and arid lands; establish, develop and manage the Desert Knowledge Australia precinct as a nationally and internationally renowned centre of knowledge; facilitate communication and collaboration between persons in communities; and support and promote research and training relevant to the deserts and arid lands of the Territory and Australia to enhance economically, socially and environmentally sustainable practices that are culturally sound. I would like to take this opportunity of acknowledging the central role played by the Desert Knowledge Australia Steering Committee in putting this legislation before the Assembly for its consideration today. It has been an outstanding example o f community cooperation over the last four years, and this bill is an appropriate mark of the fruits of their labours. The steering committee includes members from six local indigenous agencies: Lhere Artepe, Batchelor Institute, Centre for Appropriate Technology, Tangentyere Council, ATSIC and the Central Land Council, together with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the NTU, CSIRO, the Alice Springs Town Council and three 3941
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