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 4878 Departments are working together in a coordinated manner to ensure we maximise our opportunities for sustainable growth and development. Equally as important, this investment has been geographically spread across the whole Territory. Our government investment now has opportunities in trade, infrastructure and the construction of the Territory, and sees us lever larger-scale private sector investment in the building of our Territory. That is a key element of what I have been saying. Of course, this means a strong and vibrant economy, jobs for Territorians and their families, and jobs for our prosperous Territory lifestyle. By adopting this approach to investing in a range of opportunities and projects, which have the greatest potential to help develop the Territory, both large and small across the whole Territory, the Martin Labor government has adopted a fiscally responsible approach to positioning our burgeoning economy for sustainable growth. This is called spreading your investment and is a basic and sound economic principle. The AustralAsia Trade Route promotion is a key element of this focus. Contrast this to the previous CLP governments crass approach of trying to pick winners, gambling with our Territory economy. What happened? Like all gamblers, they lost and we ended up with the infamous economic black hole. By putting all their eggs in the one basket, they failed basic economics. I do not believe they have the capacity to do any better now; they are still locked into that stubborn mindset. The Martin Labor government has transformed the Territory and we are now leading the nation in economic prosperity. This government is committed to delivering for all Territorians well into the future. Our investment in the AustralAsia Trade Route will be a conduit to our economic development, extend our economic opportunities well beyond the Territorys borders, and is positioning us on a global stage. Madam Speaker, I thank the Chief Minister for her most important statement and I eagerly look forward to further updates. Mr WOOD (Nelson): Madam Speaker, I am staggered by some of what the member for Goyder had to say. History is history, and whether you like them or not is irrelevant, but I am of the understanding that the CLP government built the port. Maybe I was dreaming. I do not mind having a go at the previous governments policies, but let us not change history. These are not the days of an indoctrinated version of history. Whether you like it or not, the CLP government did a lot of good things, especially in developing the Territory. If you do not admit that, you make the rest of your statement about the good things the government is doing look silly. I am going to stand here today and say that, in many cases, the government is doing plenty of good things. I am referring, in my case, to the port because the member for Katherine and I were invited to visit the port recently. The CEO, Robert Ritchie, was good enough to show us around. Having just returned from the Barkly where I visited Bootu Creek, to visit the port and see where the ore mined at Bootu Creek was now being delivered to the port, and the bulk loading facilities and how that is all set up, I thought was pretty good stuff. This is what our port should be. For a long time, the port has been one of those pie-in-the-sky things. When it first came into being it was meant to link up with the railway and we were going to have these super catamarans delivering fresh fruit and vegetables from southern Australia through to Asia. I remember those maps with lines going all over the place Ms Martin: Not our maps. Mr WOOD: Yes, but the initial vision was this quick movement between here and Asia using very fast boats. That might have been the idea at the time, but things have moved on and that has not happened. Other things have happened, one of which is Bootu Creek. Now we have Frances Creek iron ore coming on stream as well, which is great. They have their own facilities at the port for handling their ore at the port. The port is heavily involved with cattle. We do not ship our cattle on the rail. It is all still done by truck. Whether there are any future possibilities of the rail being used for live cattle exports, I do not know but, at the moment, we are still using trucks. We saw the oil rig tenders at the port. They are important for the oil and gas rigs to the north. Another area was container shipping, which was loading for China at the time. Even though some of these things are in their infancy to some extent, they do highlight the fact that we are starting to develop these trade routes. There have been lots of ups and downs. If you look over the years, there have been promises about a trade route here and there, and some of those things have lasted for a little while and fallen over. I would not say they have struggled, but the port and rail have gone through a period where they have had to develop these industries to make them more viable. The use of the rail, especially by the mining industry - Bootu Creek and Frances Creek are just two, but there is also the possibility