Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 27 November 2002
Parliamentary Record 9
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 - Wednesday 27 November 2002 Darwin area, which frees the Palmerston-based ambulance to better service its area. Secondly, a voluntary ambulance service has been successfully implemented in Humpty Doo where locally trained volunteers provide services on an after-hours basis every day and all day on weekends. The second issue raised in the petitions concerns the provision o f a 24-hour chemist facility. In general terms, pharmacy services operate on a commercial basis and provide services that match usage and demand. Patients who see doctors after hours, whether a general practitioner or a hospital doctor, are normally provided with adequate medication to meet their needs until the chemist opens the next day. There is no 24-hour pharmacy operating anywhere in the Northern Territory, including Darwin, because there is not sufficient demand to keep such a service open. The provision o f appropriate medical services is an important commitment o f this government. The petitioners should be assured that services are continually monitored and reviewed in light o f changing community need and the availability o f resources to ensure the provision o f the most effective health services possible. Petition No 19 Lack o f medical and pharmaceutical facilities available on a 24 hour basis in Palmerston and rural area Date petition presented: 8 October 2002 Presented by: Mr Maley Referred to: Minister for Health and Community Services Date response received: 26 November 2002 Date response presented: 27 November 2002 Response: See above. MINISTERIAL REPORTS AustraLAsia Railway - Connection of Line between Tennant Creek and Katherine Ms MARTIN (Chief Minister): Madam Speaker, I am delighted to announce that a major milestone in the Alice Springs to Darwin railway project is fast approaching: the joining of the tracks between Tennant Creek and Katherine. On Friday 13 December, I will be joined by the Acting Premier of South Australia, and a Commonwealth government representative, at the AD rail Buchanan camp site near Dunmarra to ignite the final thermal weld that joins the two tracks. The joining of the tracks will be covered live on national television, providing an opportunity for all Australians to witness the symbolic milestone in the history of the AustralAsia Railway project. Since track laying began in April this year, over 580 km of track have been completed. Two crews have been laying track at an average of 2 km per day, sometimes achieving even more than that at 2.2 km, which is interesting, because initially it was only considered about 1.5 km or 1.6 km could be achieved. The track laying machines have actually achieved significantly more than they thought they would at this stage. Some track work has been completed to approximately 50 km south of Tennant Creek, and to the ballast quarry 20 km north of Katherine. With the construction of the railway, now involving the passage of construction trains across our roads through the Territory, I would certainly like to alert the travelling public to be increasingly aware of the fact that trains are operating at level crossings, and they need to obey signs and traffic control devices. Over 1200 km of the corridor clearing is now complete, 960 000 sleepers have been manufactured, 1 725 000 tonnes of ballast has been produced and 82 000 tonnes of rail has been delivered to Roe Creek near Alice Springs from Whyalla in South Australia. Closer to Darwin, at the 510 m long Elizabeth River Bridge, concrete beams continue to be placed by a gantry system on a weekly basis. I certainly encourage anyone to have a look at the development of the rail crossing across the Elizabeth River Bridge; it really is very impressive. Employment has reached a peak of 1451 direct employees. Of those, nearly 1000 - 916 - were from the Northern Territory. Training, in particular Aboriginal participation, is an important aspect of the work being carried out by ADrail, the Territory Construction Agency, and the Northern and the Central Land Councils. Of the 660 nationally accredited training courses run since the railway project began, over 100 Aboriginal participants have completed the courses and now have skills that are transferable to other fields, such as mining and construction, when their work on the railway has been complete. As at the end of September, the value of contracts awarded was $825m; of that amount $480m has been awarded to Territory-based businesses and industries. So, a significant injection of dollars into the Territory economy and a substantial support for Territory businesses has been achieved. 3032
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