Debates Day 5 - Wednesday 17 October 2007
Parliamentary Record 17
Debates for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Parliamentary Record; ParliamentNT
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES Wednesday 17 October 2007 4863 during the September to February period each year allow shipping lines to impose peak season freight rate increases coupled with limitation of container space on existing services to southern Australian ports. This situation creates potential for the AustralAsia Trade Route to capture and redirect excess container freight volumes which, in effect, will exhibit the capability of the trade route in the eyes of the freight forwarders, brokers and shipping lines themselves. The peak season initiative for containers entering Australia via Darwin has created real interest. One shipping line is prepared to commit 250 containers every 22 days during the peak season period. That is very positive news for the Territory. However, there are still many challenges for us in growing the trade route, including the capacity constraints of the railway in available space for backloading operations. Further discussions are planned with a range of parties, including the major freight forwarders, to progress these issues. A second Indonesian Mining Procurement Forum is planned for Darwin during the first quarter of 2008. The successful inaugural event was held in mid-2006. The forum also builds on the successful Global Freight Connect conferences held in April 2007 and October 2005 which attracted a number of regional Asian shipping lines and mining resource suppliers to Darwin. These visitors were able to see firsthand and better understand Territory businesses, their capabilities and capacities. I look forward to the outcomes of this forum and the continued development of Darwin as a mining supply and logistics base. My department is leading a private sector delegation to the Mining Indonesia Expo in Jakarta which will be held between 31 October and 3 November this year. Currently, there are around 25 private sector delegates representing some 15 companies registered to attend. It demonstrates how seriously people are taking our push to position Darwin as a regional supply and logistics base for the mining industry. The Mining Indonesia Expo is the largest mining expo in the world and brings procurement officers from some of the worlds largest mining operators in direct contact with suppliers. The purpose of attending this expo is to promote Territory-based businesses and their goods and services. We will also seek to establish networks within the regions mining industry. This event will also act as a precursor to the Indonesian Mining Procurement Forum to be held in Darwin in March next year. As we speak, my department is supporting the International Business Council of the Chamber of Commerce NT in its business delegation to the Canton Fair in Guangzhou in China. Eight Territory businesses are participating, along with representatives from the International Business Council and the Department of the Chief Minister. The Canton Fair attracts over 300 000 buyers from around the world and accounts for over $80bn in sales each year. Again, this event is aimed at increasing trade within our region through both exports and imports. Importantly, we have arranged for a Hong Kong-based broker to address the delegation about best options for procurement and transportation of goods sought at the Canton Fair to reduce costs and risks during shipment. We are also working with the Indonesian Consulate and the Australian Embassy in Jakarta to host an East Java-Northern Territory Business Seminar in Darwin early next year. The event will be co-sponsored by the Australian-Indonesian Business Council and provides a great opportunity to strengthen our trade links with Surabaya, Indonesias second largest city. As you can see, since I tabled Growing Our Trade Route strategy in February 2005, much has been achieved and much more is planned. It is now appropriate given the many exciting developments that have occurred since I released the strategy that we now take stock and update the document. Over the coming months, my department will undertake that in consultation with the industry. This work will also complement current reviews of our Asian Relations and Trade priorities. We are committed to developing the AustralAsia Trade Route and have achieved significant success in a range of areas; success that is seeing increased trade activity, more jobs for Territorians and more opportunities for Territory businesses. This work will continue and I look forward to updating members on the progress and success of the AustralAsia Trade Route in the future. Mr Deputy Speaker, I move that the Assembly take note of the statement. Ms CARNEY (Opposition Leader): Mr Deputy Speaker, I genuinely welcome the statement and, for the most part, am pleased with it. This stuff should not be politicised. It is what we are here for, trying to do the best we can in our own different and, sometimes same ways, for the people of the Northern Territory. So thank you, Chief Minister; it was a very comprehensive statement. Our geography, our enthusiasm, our climate, our similarities, our differences with the Asian region make that region and Darwin obvious bedfellows. Our geography, in particular, makes us better placed than so many other parts of this
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