Territory Stories

Debates Day 5 - Wednesday 17 October 2007



Debates Day 5 - Wednesday 17 October 2007

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Parliamentary Record 17


Debates for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Parliamentary Record; ParliamentNT




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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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 Wednesday 17 October 2007 4862 I also had the pleasure of meeting with Mr Le Hoang Quan, the Chairman of the Peoples Committee of Ho Chi Minh City. We had a wide-ranging discussion and talked of the similarities between our jurisdictions in areas like tourism and the development of new port related infrastructure. Chairman Quan was particularly appreciative of our aim to develop economic and trade relationships and even suggested the development of a memorandum of understanding to underpin further trade opportunities. Speaking of which, I was able to sign an MOU on trade and economic cooperation with the Ba RiaVung Tau Province while I was in Vietnam. This province has many similarities to the Territory. It is an emerging oil and gas centre and has strong tourism, agriculture and fishery sectors. I firmly believe the MOU together with our strong political relationships with Ba RiaVung Tau Province will provide the foundation upon which future trade in live cattle may be initiated over the coming 12 months or so. My department has been working with their counterparts in Ba RiaVung Tau Province to develop an action plan of activities to promote and support trade activities, with cattle trade being high on the agenda as well as education and training, tourism and cultural exchanges. In addition, my department has continued to follow up trade opportunities at the business level with the following companies: the Pas Foods Company. We are progressing talks on developing cattle trade including inspection of sites to construct an abattoir and feedlots; the Khanh Hoa Trading and Investment Company, which wants to receive its first shipment of around 1000 head of live cattle by June next year; and the Phoung Nam Group of Companies, which is looking to develop a vocational holiday program with Charles Darwin University. These particular courses could involve English language, animal husbandry, public health care and maritime services. It is a niche market that is currently not being covered by other educational agents in the region and combines two Territory strengths: tourism and education. It is an exciting initiative. This same company is also considering establishing its own travel agency based in Darwin to support and grow its subsidiary company, Star Travel. In 2006, Star Travel planned holidays for over 65 000 people across South-East Asia, north Asia and Russia, and now has the Territory firmly in its sights. Following my visit to Vietnam, I flew to Tokyo to meet with Japanese energy industry government leaders to promote further trade between Japan and the Territory. Energy security is very important to Japan and the nation is a key destination for Australian energy exports. The Territory has the resources, skills and knowledge to meet some of Japans energy needs in LNG and uranium. In particular, we are seeking to establish Darwin as a leading centre for gas development which would deliver huge economic flow-on benefits for our economy. While in Tokyo, I met with Mr Masashi Nakano, the Japanese Vice-Minister for Energy, Mr Tomofumi Hiraku, the Director-General of Natural Resources and Energy Policy with the Ministry for Economy, Trade and Industry, and representatives of INPEX: , Chair Mr Kunihiko Matsuo and President Mr Naoki Kuroda. At these meetings, I demonstrated the business case for establishing gas-based industry in Darwin. An example of this is the case for Darwin to play a role in developing INPEXs Ichthys gas field in the Browse Basin. While INPEX has a preference to bring Ichthys gas onshore at the Maret Islands off the Kimberley coastline, Darwin is well placed as a viable alternative for the $6bn project if required. The Tokyo visit was a valuable follow-up to our visit to Japan in January and February this year. It is crucial that Japanese government and business leaders are aware of the potential that exists in the Territory to accommodate energy industries, particularly gas. Importantly for the AustralAsia Trade Route, new gas-based infrastructure investment will result in more project cargoes utilising East Arm Wharf. We will continue to undertake strategic visits and trade delegations to maintain and grow our export trade, expand our economy and continue to develop the AustralAsia Trade Route. As I have shown, significant work has been undertaken to grow the AustralAsia Trade Route and already we have seen some very encouraging outcomes, but there is much more we can do. Let me outline some of the initiatives we will undertake to complement the ongoing development of the trade route and, indeed, our overall trade development strategy. As a priority, we will continue to work with major regional shipping lines to attract increased service capacity and frequency through the port. One particular initiative being pursued is an opportunity to consolidate peak season cargoes via the port for delivery to Melbourne and Adelaide. The economic conditions that we see