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 4866 mining during estimates - Arafura Resources will be building a processing plant primarily for rare earth elements, but will also produce 200 tonnes of yellowcake every year, and they are going to be on Middle Arm. Their plant will be about the size, I am advised, of the Bunnings building on Bagot Road. What about a manganese refinement plant if someone wanted to introduce that? You have to ask: where it will go? Our very strong view is that the government is failing to effectively plan for these elements of growth as it has failed to plan for residential development in the city. Back to the subject of gas, we note the Chief Minister was feeling particularly triumphant about the deal at Blacktip. We do not think the Chief Minister should be feeling triumphant. The business of having to spend $140m of taxpayers money to build a 280 km pipeline to supply gas to a power station 2 km from one of the largest gas supplies in the southern hemisphere is not, we believe, a success. The concession to supply domestic gas from ConocoPhillips that was secured by the previous CLP government was not secured by Labor when they took office. That is why Wickham Point was selected as a place to bring gas onshore. The fact that not so much as a cigarette lighters worth of gas makes its way to Channel Island is staggering and will be, I think, to this governments everlasting shame. How could the Chief Minister possibly hope to convince anyone that is a good result when she yesterday announced $140m to go, in essence, the long way around? When I was looking at the Chief Ministers statement last night - and I did this before when we had a mining statement recently - I like to have a look at what the previous administration did. I was not part it; I do not know all of the history. I rely on cupboards full of documents in my office upstairs and on some that I knew when they were published at the time. I think government members have pretty much slammed aspects of Foundations for Our Future; however, oh, how much of it has been incorporated by the government. This was published in 1999 or 2000. In any event, this chapter is called Become the Supply, Service and Distribution Centre for the Region. It says on page 4 under the heading The Vision for a Supply, Service and Distribution Centre for the Region: Darwin will: become the Regional supply and service centre for the defence, mining, oil and gas sectors, inclusive of all industries necessary to support such a centre. further develop as a multi-modal transport and logistics hub with the establishment of the AustralAsia Trade Route and associated imports and exports through Darwin. This will be achieved by: completing the AustralAsia Railway and Stage 2 East Arm Port expansion by 2003; bringing Timor Sea Gas onshore by 2003-04; establishing logistics distribution/ consolidation centres for import and export by 2004-05, supporting 50 000 containers per annum, including the Supermarket to Asia initiative; establishing Darwin as a major offshore oil and gas supply and service centre by 2001; developing our service and industrial capacity to provide the full range of service, supply and support services for domestic and foreign defence needs; building supply and service capability for the mining industry in Darwin and regional centres. That pretty much, quite rightly, seems to be the map adopted by this government. They are free to pick up aspects of this chapter of Foundations for our Future. Why? Because it was good stuff. Why? Because, as I said at the outset, the Territory is well placed in so many respects to do well in this region. This government knows that. That is great, and we support them, but they do not, surely, for a minute think that it was all their idea and suddenly all happened after 18 August 2001. Why do I say those things? Because there was a reference in the Chief Ministers speech at page 7: It is also tangible evidence of the success of our work over the past six years. Well, you did not do much for the first couple. You buggered up Wickham Point, but, in fairness, yes, in recent years, you have been doing reasonably well, as you should. It is your job. To say, as you have here, Chief Minister, that it is all down to you spare me! Having said that and moving away from criticism to something I am sure will please government, because I know they do not like