Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 2010



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 2010

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Parliamentary Record 15


Debates 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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DEBATES - Thursday 21 October 2010 people to say: No problems, we will get on a plane and zip over there. To say: Hop on a plane and come to Darwin is something many people may not want. Delays in doing business will be far greater. I do not see mention of how the Northern Territory is raising the capacity and capabilities of exports in this statement. There are statements about industry get-togethers, trade missions, and the government should be commended for creating those initiatives. However, I do not see much in the report, or the real world, about increasing capacity of exporters and the capabilities of exporters. There used to be a strong focus on export training regarding market attractiveness, competitive advantage, documentation, resource allocation, etcetera, not to mention access to markets. The Chief Minister said under the previous CLP government ministers swanned around Asia, had a great time and did not achieve much at all. The Chief Minister needs to read the history of what was achieved and what was built by people swanning around. What are his ministers doing? We see very little happening these days in relation to growing international trade. We hear great statements - we need to see the rubber on the road. I move to international education and training. That is a great dollar earner for Australia. We need to concentrate on it, especially in the Territory. Charles Darwin University has a good range of subjects and a great multicultural mix of students as well as teaching and university staff. We have several problems relating to attracting overseas students. The cheap option of coming to Darwin could give us a competitive advantage; however, after 15 December that is going to change. How is the Northern Territory government assisting private education in the NT, in particular the vocational education area? What is happening there? What increases in assistance have been given? How are registered training organisations treated for funding or assistance to provide equipment and resources, and regular renewals and replacement? Public institutions are funded annually; RTOs have a different regime with a different set of problems. Why is it so difficult for fully qualified, private, registered training organisations to gain accreditation with CRICOS - Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students? The accreditation is fundamentally a criterion to enrol international students with English as a second language. How does the government, and we as a community, hope to achieve international hub status with a port not capable of handling container traffic and quick turnaround with enhanced through put? Speaking to commodities, shipments will not sustain future growth. We need a range of initiatives on top of those included in this statement. We are reliant, probably too heavily, on primary products, cattle and minerals, which puts us at the mercy of fluctuations in the Australian dollar. An issue in any one of these industries can be a major hiccup for the Northern Territory economy. I will talk about cattle and roads. The timing of Ramadan in Indonesia changes annually; their cultural and religious festivities are changing the timing of live cattle exports. Eventually we will be exporting cattle out of the Northern Territory in the Wet Season which will cause huge logistical problems for the industry and government because of our roads. I look at what is happening with the creation of shires I do not want to go there. Shires and roads are in an interesting situation. Roads have not been maintained. I attended the Brunette Downs Races - the ABC Race Club - for their 100th year. There were many people from all over the Territory, Queensland and South Australia. I asked quite a few people what they thought of the roads. Some people have to maintain roads not on their property to enable trucks to move their cattle. As you move further north there is the problem of a constant Wet Season rain and wet roads and pulling a triple road train in those conditions can be disastrous and destroy roads. The government is maintaining what we have not growing it. It needs to spend more time and effort investing in roads. The government is doing several things. Industry people and public servants are doing a fabulous job trying to improve things and make them work. However, it takes leadership from government and imagination. I ask the minister to consider what has been mentioned as a result of talking to people in the community who have asked us to express their concerns. Madam Deputy Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to make those recommendations to government. Mr McCARTHY (Lands and Planning): Madam Deputy Speaker, I support the ministerial statement and the important element of growing international trade for the Northern Territory. I enjoyed listening to the contribution from the Chief Minister and the image he created with Clapton buying the best crocodile skin in the world, having 6514