Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 10 October 2006
Parliamentary Record 10
Debates for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Parliamentary Record; ParliamentNT
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES Tuesday 10 October 2006 3119 Springs water recycling scheme. This exciting project has national prominence in turning a waste water problem into a commercial opportunity. The project is a joint initiative of the Northern Territory Power and Water Corporation and my department and aims to deliver triple bottom-line benefits by eliminating overflows to Ilparpa Swamp. The scheme will make use of the waste water from Alice Springs to establish commercial horticulture on lands at the Arid Zone Research Institute, contributing to regional economic growth and employment. Power and Water is investing more than $8m in infrastructure to upgrade the treatment processes and produce high quality water for reuse. A public environment review has been completed and accepted by the minister for the Environment. The results of the extensive studies by CSIRO and the Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts indicated that the site is ideal for infiltrating water into a natural paleo-channel of the Todd River. It is proposed to build an underground mound of water over time, which will be extracted for commercial horticultural developments in the departments research station. The proposal is based on significant private investment in table grapes and other crops on 100 hectares. It is likely that this development will see the direct employment of six permanent and 50 casual jobs. It is anticipated that infrastructure will be in place to deliver water to AZRI early in 2007. Mr Deputy Speaker, I will inform the House of other regional developments planned outside these areas. Marine Harvest Australia is part-way through an environmental impact statement process for a proposed new sea-cage barramundi farm at Snake Bay on Melville Island. The company intends to establish a 1500 tonne per annum farm over the next two years with a fiveyear plan to increase to 5000 tonnes per annum. Clearly, this will deliver substantial training and employment opportunities for Tiwi people. Discussions are under way for a possible barramundi processing or packaging facility on the island - more jobs for Territorians. Another regional and indigenous aquaculture project is a trial grow-out of mud crabs at Maningrida and Kulaluk. Officers within my department are working with the traditional owners and the Maningrida Djelk Marine Rangers to develop culturally appropriate mud crab farming technology in the mangrove pasture. It is hoped that some younger people in the community will see this as an opportunity to develop new skills and gain an interest in sustainable aquaculture as a business. Additionally, as a means of improving efficiency within my department and for more holistic community outcomes, the three functional areas of my department, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Mines have been discussing strategic partnerships aimed at using groundwater pumped from mine operations as a source for some form of aquaculture. This nutrient-rich water could then be used on a horticulture plot or irrigated onto improved pasture. These are the innovations that will provide a variety of opportunities to a number of people in regional communities, and the list goes on. Other exciting projects in the regions of the Territory include forestry, and zircon sand mining on the Tiwi Islands, the Alcan expansion at Nhulunbuy, the GEMCO expansion at Groote Eylandt, North Australian Diamonds redevelopment on the Merlin project near Borroloola, and many others which will contribute to regional economic development. My department will continue to play a pivotal role in identifying and facilitating opportunities for the sustainable utilisation of our abundant resources throughout the regional areas. It is about economic development, it is about jobs and it is about sharing prosperity across Australia. I add my support to the statement of the minister. Mr McADAM (Central Australia): Mr Deputy Speaker, I support the ministers statement on Regional Development. Before I commence, I would like to comment on the contribution by the member for Araluen, the Leader of the Opposition. I believe it is important to understand that it was a very negative, very derogatory portrayal of the role that indigenous people have played in the Northern Territory, not only from an economic perspective but from a social perspective. It is important to understand that, for a very long period of time under the CLP, there were high levels of antagonism and divisive responses in terms of what indigenous people were attempting to do. However, I do not want to go back because we have moved forward. I can name you any number of initiatives that have occurred in the Northern Territory, particularly over the last four to five years, because essentially you have a government which is prepared to engage with indigenous people, to engage with the land councils in a very respectful and equitable way. That is certainly a far cry from the previous manner in which the CLP responded to indigenous matters. In the pastoral industry alone, in the last four to five years zero to 35 000 head. That is an absolutely magnificent achievement. It is important to understand it has been done in partnership particularly with the land councils, both NLC and CLC, and the NT Cattlemens Association and indigenous people on the ground. You do not get those sorts of outcomes, you do
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