Questions Day 1 - Tuesday 29 April 2008
Parliamentary Record 20
Questions for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Parliamentary Record
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
QUESTIONS Tuesday 29 April 2008 1378 assist small business growth and development in the Territory. It is not an accident that we have a 7% growth. It is not our propaganda; it is actually Access Economics. I dare anybody from the other side to challenge Access Economics assessment of the 7% growth. Obviously, the number seven is not very lucky for you, Kevin 07 and now 7%. It seems to be a bit unlucky. However, this is the plain truth: small business is doing very well in the Territory, and that is because the government has assisted them enormously. First of all, we reduced the small business taxes. We are the jurisdiction with the lowest taxes for businesses with up to 100 employees. We have reduced red tape. We have established business centres in my department to assist people with applications and make it easier for businesses to be established. We have small business seminars. We have the October Business Month. We are providing grants, big loans and subsidies. Back to what big projects do for the small businesses. A very good example is tourism. When the tourist numbers in Australia plummeted following the collapse of Ansett and 11 September, our government put $10m a year for ministers like me and my predecessors to go travelling extensively to promote the Territory as a destination. I am very pleased to continue this. There are a great many businesses which rely on tourism 11% of our Territory workforce is employed by business -related to tourism. The convention centre No 1 on the hate list of the CLP has 29 conventions already booked and this is having an enormous impact on small business in the Territory. Another project we have is the LNG plant. I remember the then member for Goyder, sitting there, putting a number of claims to us: how this LNG plant was going to destroy life as we knew it; pollute the harbour; and ruin fishing. Five years later, we have not seen any of these disasters. The LNG has improved everything in Darwin, from the price of houses in the northern suburbs, employment, and opportunities for small businesses. The numbers are staggering: 2350 people worked there - 2350 people wanting goods and services from the small business in Palmerston and Darwin; from hiring cars to pizzas. I remember very well the pizza shop in Palmerston at the time was saying it was the best time they have had for many years, because people wanted to eat and entertain themselves. Not only that, businesses like Thiess with the $120m complex for the LNG plant and marine facilities, had 8900 purchase activities in the Territory at the time, and $25m-worth of contracts awarded to Territory companies. That is why we are working so hard to bring INPEX to Darwin, because we know the impact that will have in Darwin with this $12bn project. I know the Leader of the Opposition has added this one to his hate list of the CLP; they do not like it. I find it very interesting that, for the first time in many years, the very proud CLP member and former member for Araluen, Hon Eric Poole, is here today and probably remembers the good old days when the CLP supported businesses. We had a media release from the Chamber of Commerce on 28 April that said: The opposition has decided to adopt their current stance without substantive consultation from the business community and many of the Industry bodies support the Middle Arm proposal and, more importantly, understand the uncertainty being created to the viability of this particular project. Also, the Leader of the Opposition has made his choice: he wants the headlines, he wants to grab the radio Members interjecting. Mr VATSKALIS: Our government has and will continue to support business of the Northern Territory. Fishing Bag Limits and Penalties Mrs BRAHAM to MINISTER for PRIMARY INDUSTRY and FISHERIES According to your government, fishing is the lure of the Territory, but we have just had an example of how disastrous that lure can be for an Alice Springs father and his two sons. Without discussing the details of the case, which you are well aware of, would you consider and answer me these three questions? Would you consider a system of registration at Borroloola Police Station or King Ash Bay for intra-state and interstate fishermen? Would you review the bag limit to partly reflect the time or the day spent fishing to reflect the days that a fisherman in Darwin may be able to take a catch home? Would you take measures to have the car, boat and equipment, valued at $80 000, which was confiscated over 16 months ago, returned to the owners, considering that they have had a fine imposed upon them and the value of those possessions would be excessively high to bear on top of that fine? Commented [eno4]: correct quote from Chamber of commerce doc
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