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 4885 An operator survey revealed 69.5% of regional tourism association members stated that their RTA membership had little or no impact on the success of their tourism business. I asked the minister how many RTA members had responded to the operator survey and whether he could break these down into each of the four RTAs. There was a specific reason for that. The report referred to 69.5% of regional tourism association members. We all know that surveys can be jigged to suit whatever you want them to do. What I was asking was how many tourism operators in the Katherine region had responded to that survey. Over 200 members belong to the Katherine Region Tourism Association and if only five of them returned a response, how can you make an assessment about what should happen to the association? That is the reason I asked for the number of respondents. The minister said it is not in his report and: I do not know who has made submissions to it. Obviously, the consultant has put his name to a document. I say to the member for Katherine if that is what people in the tourism industry are saying to the consultant, he would have had accurately reflected that in his report. What the consultant has done is accurately reported the number of responses that he has had to his survey. What I want to know is how many people responded to the survey. Decisions are going to be made about regional tourism associations that are going to have a lasting impact on the community. Katherine is one that is highlighted because we have a strong executive in Katherine which has been putting a lot of effort into the Katherine Regional Tourism Association over many years. What happens when the focus goes away from the regions, as we all very well know, is that they start to lose their identity. I am not only speaking from my own perspective. Today I have received two e-mails from people in Katherine - and this was without any prompting from me, so the rage is there. I have contacted these people and asked if they mind if I include their comments in the Parliamentary Record tonight and they have both given me approval. I would first like to read an e-mail that was sent to minister Henderson and it has been copied to me. It is from Kevin Gray, the Director of NT Technology in Katherine. He is also Chair of the Chamber of Commerce. He wrote: Minister Henderson, I am completely disgusted at the report released last week in relation to the Strategic Review of the KRTA. I am not going to debate the finer points of the 90-page document. That would be acknowledging that it has substance, when in fact it appears to be merely a means to punish the KRTA for standing up for the Katherine region. Any moves to amalgamate the interests of the KRTA will serve to reduce the direct marketing efforts of the KRTA for the Katherine region. Obviously, there appear to be issues the Northern Territory government has with the KRTA, so address them. Whilst local business is vying to defend our positions with the local government transformation and withdrawal of CDEP, which undoubtedly had to be addressed (but centralised contracts? Decidedly anti-local), this uppercut is delivered. What the hell is going on? How about we close the road at Alice Springs and Manton Dam? There is no doubt that centralising to Darwin will be more efficient. Why we are at it, why dont you relocate the NT parliament to Sydney, Melbourne or Canberra? That will save a lot of flights, but is that what this is all about? Is Katherine deemed to be an unsustainable investment? Many of us work very hard to promote a strong sense of community whilst families and skills leak out of Katherine. This proposal would be two more if it were short-sightedly implemented. That would be a loss to us of not $200 000, but that $200 000 going round in our economy. Of course, I could not begin to fathom the logic of this. Tourism is a significant contributor to the Northern Territory economy. The funds injected into the KRTA are very necessary to sustain effort and promise for the tourism operators in the Katherine Region. Cost overruns in exotic Darwin-based projects will not be our pain. Emotive argument? Absolutely. I strongly suggest Option 5 - Leave the KRTA alone! It is with regards, Kevin Grey. Mr Acting Deputy Speaker, I have another e-mail that was sent to the consultancy group from Manbulloo Homestead and I quote: