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 4870 production capacity at its Vopak facility. The export of biodiesel starts a new industry for the Territory as the world looks to finding better ways of reducing its reliance on petroleum-based energy. Natural Fuels Darwin operation is the largest biodiesel plant in Australia. It is capable of producing 122 500 tonnes per annum along with 12 000 tonnes of pharmaceutical grade glycerine. While I have already talked about some of the recent improvements in building our port and transport services, it is important that members remember that it was not long ago that the East Arm area had no rail link, little available land to develop and was, by comparison, a small regional port. Now the Port of Darwin is world-class and positioned to play a pivotal role in the nations future industrial growth and in the ongoing expansion of the entire AustralAsia region. Only two weeks ago, we saw the arrival in Darwin Harbour of that massive 53 000 tonne transport ship, the Blue Marlin, carrying a 10 000 tonne oil rig. The rig, the West Atlas, will be used to search for oil in the Timor Sea. The Darwin Port Corporation is a key member of the AustralAsia Trade Route Task Force and continues to work with regional shipping lines and shippers to expand shipping services through the Port of Darwin. The Darwin Port Corporation is a Government Business Division of the Northern Territory government and reports to me through its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Robert Ritchie. It has an advisory board which advises the port corporation on its activities and the manner in which it carries them out. Mr David Looker is the Chairman of the Board. He has an extensive background in international shipping and logistics and a detailed knowledge of ports and commercial shipping in the Asia Pacific region. The CEO of the Darwin Port Corporation, Mr Robert Ritchie, was appointed earlier this year and was previously the Vice-President Operations Oceania for Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines and has more than 24 years experience in the shipping industry. With the increase in port activity, the Darwin Port Corporation is currently undertaking a series of strategic reviews at my request to position it to meet future development demands. A strategic review is under way into the management structure of the corporation. The outcome of this review will be an optimum management structure with a clear definition of each managers role and responsibilities. A strategic land use and facilities utilisation study is also under way at my request to ensure that appropriate port facilities are available to meet the growing trade and shipping activity in the Port of Darwin. A scope of works is being prepared by Maunsell for the Darwin Port Corporation on a master plan and staged development plan for East Arm Wharf, which will take us through to the year 2030 to support and underpin the governments policy and objectives. The scope of works is expected to be completed this month, with completion of the master plan scheduled for the second half of next year. With the increased size of ships entering Darwin Harbour, the corporation is undertaking preliminary dredging studies to review accessibility to the port. The study will cover existing berths and channels and incorporate the future needs of our customers. In the past 12 months, there has been renewed interest in our resources in northern Australia, not just our minerals, but also a focus on our water resources. As we know, this, in part, is the result of water shortages experienced in the south. All of this presents challenges to the Northern Territory government in providing growth to our infrastructure, but I am confident the commitment by the Martin Labor government to boosting our infrastructure investments in roads, port and our rail spur links means that we are well positioned to benefit from the increased acknowledgement in the region and throughout Australia of the competitiveness of the AustralAsia Trade Route. Mr Deputy Speaker, I commend the Chief Minister for her statement. It identifies the strength of growth of the Territory, underpinning our regional development, and is a positive statement that provides a focus and direction for the future of the AustralAsia Trade Route. Mr NATT (Mines and Energy): Mr Deputy Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to support the statement from the Chief Minister on the AustralAsia Trade Route. Obviously, Darwins proximity to South-East Asia is a fantastic gateway for many products throughout the Territory and Australia, for that matter, as has been pointed out, and I will visit that point in my response. The opening markets in South-East Asia are terribly important to the economy of the Northern Territory. My portfolios of Primary Industry and Fisheries and Mines and Energy make a considerable contribution to supporting that economy. As the House knows, last week I introduced the Primary Industry Market Indicator, which is an interactive tool for primary industry people to identify potential export markets and identify existing markets that can be readily expanded. It