Territory Stories

Questions Day 5 - Wednesday 29 October 2008



Questions Day 5 - Wednesday 29 October 2008

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Parliamentary Record 2


Questions for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012




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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QUESTIONS Wednesday 29 October 2008 125 to answering the question yes or no, and, if yes, what are the plans? Ms LAWRIE: I would have been there by now if you had not kept interjecting. Madam SPEAKER: Member for Port Darwin, the Treasurer is still on her feet. Ms LAWRIE: You do not want to hear it. Mr Elferink: Well, then, answer it. Madam SPEAKER: The Treasurer has the call. Ms LAWRIE: In the May budget speech I gave, I indicated that the Northern Territory government would, if we kept tracking in the direction we have been tracking - that is, growing healthy surpluses and driving debt down - that we would make hay while the sun shines, so that, as we have seen with COSR into which we are putting additional funding out of our surpluses, we would create an investment fund - if you like, a futures fund - to fund future infrastructure Mr Elferink: Infrastructure! That means you have to sell shares out of this fund. Madam SPEAKER: Order, order! Member for Port Darwin! Mr Elferink: It is outrageous! Ms LAWRIE: I will pick up on the interjection Mr Elferink: You are going to sell shares out of this fund to make it work. Ms LAWRIE: and this may help understand his flights of fancy, because we are not cashing out the COSR Mr Elferink: Then how is this going to work? Ms LAWRIE: What we have clearly flagged - he has it wrong, despite the Treasury briefings which have occurred;. He does not understand it, but that is okay. What we are clearly saying is strong financial management gives us the opportunity to invest into future infrastructure needs. I flagged that change in government direction and policy in the May budget. Did I put anything into it? No, I put $20m into COSR, which is the superannuation liability. However, I flagged that, if we continued to track well with healthy surpluses whilst we are driving debt down, that we would create an infrastructure fund as well ... Mr Henderson: A new fund. Ms LAWRIE: A new fund so that, whilst we are in a very strong economic position, it would be clearly prudent of the government to start to put funds into an infrastructure fund to pay for future infrastructure investment requirements of our great nation, which is clearly in keeping Members interjecting. Madam SPEAKER: Order! Ms LAWRIE: The Chief Minister is talking about 2030; well, it makes a lot of sense, in 2008, to look at the opportunities to create a fund to put the dollars in, because we are managing the economy well, with healthy surpluses driving debt down, to provide for the infrastructure needs of future generations. Indigenous Pastoral Program Mr GUNNER to MINISTER for PRIMARY INDUSTRY, FISHERIES and RESOURCES The Indigenous Pastoral project has been successful in growing our cattle herd and creating jobs in our regions. Can you outline what has been done to build on the solid results achieved so far under the Indigenous Pastoral Program? ANSWER Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his question. I recently received a pastoral market update with regard to the live cattle export via Darwin Port. In 2007, there were 283 000 live cattle exported from the Port of Darwin. In the past nine months, there were 287 000 cattle exported from the Port of Darwin. Out of these, 231 000 have come from the Territory. Because of change of living conditions and the economy in Indonesia and South-East Asia, the demand for high quality protein is increasing all the time, and the prediction by DFAT is that, within five years, the demand for live cattle export will be 500 000 head and, within 10 years, it will increase to one million head. Of course, we are in a unique position because of our disease-free status and our close proximity to Indonesia to be able to supply these live cattle - if we are able to produce them in the Northern Territory. The Cattlemens Association and the pastoralists are working together to increase the capacity of the land, the ability to breed cattle quicker, but also to utilise Indigenous land that will be able to be brought back into production, because Indigenous land at the moment has the capacity to increase the herd in the Northern Territory. The Indigenous Pastoral Program is a joint initiative by the Northern and Central Land

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