Questions Day 6 - Friday 23 February 2012
Parliamentary Record 24
Questions for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
QUESTIONS Thursday 23 February 2012 have seen it close hand, especially in the Tiwi Islands over the past few years. I recall many cases of young people who took their own lives. The Australian government provides and funds programs in response to young people with over $2m annually. So both the federal government and the Territory government are aware of the problem and we are trying to address the problem with significant intervention. So instead of playing political games with youth suicide, I suggest we work together to do something to make a difference. Resource Sector - Government Initiatives Mr GUNNER to MINISTER for PRIMARY INDUSTRY, FISHERIES and RESOURCES Mining continues to be the largest industry sector in the Territory and makes an important contribution to our regions. Mining contributes around 25% of our economy, almost three times the contribution it makes nationally. Can you please inform the House on how government initiatives that are supporting our resource sector are delivering benefits in our regions? ANSWER Madam Speaker, mining is a very important industry in the Territory, contributing 25% of our GDP, which is three times the national average. There is continued growth of our resource sector right throughout the Territory, from the urban centres to the regions. Every mine in the Territory contributes not only to the local area, but also to the urban centres. Mines in the Tanami contribute to the economic development of Alice Springs and Tennant Creek, and further north to Palmerston, Berrimah and Winnellie. Mines contribute to significant jobs in the regions. The previous question was about youth suicide. People who have a future do not commit suicide. I would love to have more jobs in the regions, and the mining industry provides jobs in the regions. In one of the mines in the Tanami, 14% of overall employment was Indigenous people. In Borroloola, up to 24% of the workforce is Indigenous, and they are trying to expand it. Mining does not happen by chance. It is not flying a helicopter, finding an ore body and someone will mine it. You have to attract the investors. You have to attract the people to undertake the exploration, and research, and invest in the mining industry. We have done that. Last year, we had nearly $200m expenditure in exploration - the highest ever in the Northern Territory. Most of it was in greenfield sites. Despite what the member opposite was telling us the other day in her motion, 50% of the exploration last year took place in greenfield sites, not in brownfield sites, and that compares with only 35% nationally. Even during the global financial crisis, the Northern Territory was the only jurisdiction in Australia where exploration increased. We were just behind Western Australia. We actually overtook South Australia for the first time ever in the history of mines in the Northern Territory. There are significant mines in the Territory. McArthur River went from underground operations to open cut, extending the lifespan of the mine by 15 years. GEMCO just announced a $250m upgrade, with increased production to 4.8 million tonnes per annum. ERA spent a significant amount of money for an exploration incline, and Newmont is spending nearly $500m to expand the mining exploration and production in Tanami. There are a number of other junior explorers and other companies currently operating in the Territory. Territory Iron is one, and Bootu Creek is another. Some of these mines will be here for years to come, especially after they are investing significantly in exploration. Mining is the most important industry in the Northern Territory, contributing to the GDP, but also, most importantly, to jobs in the regions. NT WorkSafe Criminal Prosecution - Fire and Rescue Service Mr ELFERINK to MINISTER for JUSTICE and ATTORNEY-GENERAL It has reached my ears that NT WorkSafe is about to launch a criminal prosecution against the Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service arising out of an injury that was sustained by a woman on a training exercise rendering her a paraplegic. Can you advise the House if this is correct and if a prosecution is recommended? If you can, can you advise of any alternative approaches that might be taken in regard to this matter? Dr BURNS: A point of order, Madam Speaker! This could represent sub judice. I ask that some advice be taken on it. Madam SPEAKER: I will seek some advice. Attorney-General, in responding, I ask you to answer only in very general terms so that it does not possibly affect a legal case. ANSWER Madam Speaker, as the member has described, this is an ongoing case. I believe it is probably best that I do not comment on that particular case. 1529
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