Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 2010
Parliamentary Record 15
Debates for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Thursday 21 October 2010 I welcome the trade opportunities explored through the recent World Expo in Shanghai. A number of Indigenous art centres, including those from Yuendumu, Yirrkala and Hermannsburg, undertook a group exhibition with a private Chinese art gallery. These centres offer a range of art styles, including dot paintings, bark paintings, weavings and carvings, and I am advised their work was well received. I will highlight another potential trade opportunity for the Northern Territory in the Barkly electorate - very close to home. It is Minemakers and the potential development of the phosphate deposit near Tennant Creek. The Minemakers Winara rock phosphate project is Australias largest underdeveloped rock phosphate project. Why would it be good for the Territory and Tennant Creek? Because phosphate is the major resource mined to produce phosphate fertilisers for the agricultural industry. Phosphorous is also used in animal feed supplements, food preservatives, anti-corrosion agents, cosmetics, fungicides, ceramics, water treatment and metallurgy. As the worlds population grows, and economies in countries like China and India grow, so too does demand for food production, biofuel crops and phosphate. Ultimately, commercial decisions must be made to proceed with the project, however in recognition of the potential economic and job opportunities the mine would bring to the Barkly and the Territory, the Territory government is doing all it can to ensure the project moves forward. The Minemakers phosphate deposit is located next to the Barkly Highway about 300 km from the railway. The governments $150m infrastructure program at East Arm Wharf helps provide Minemakers with certainty about the future of mineral exports through the port, and in May last year Minemakers signed a heads of agreement with the Darwin Port Corporation regarding the shipping of rock phosphate through the port. Madam Speaker, there are great success stories in international trade across the Northern Territory in our pastoral and mining industries, and among our artists to name but a few. Government is doing what it can to build and grow these opportunities even further; we support our industries and investments in roads, infrastructure, and land release. I thank the minister for bringing this statement to the House. Mr KNIGHT (Business and Employment): Madam Speaker, I thank all members for their contributions, and the Minister for Transport. Much trade is coming from the Barkly region, and his portfolio of Arts. I attended the arts exhibition in Shanghai, which was well received. We also had the B2M band from the Tiwi Islands at the arts exhibition and the guests who attended the various functions at the Australian pavilion were intrigued by the potential of Aboriginal art and culture in the Northern Territory. I thank the minister for his comments. I thank the Education minister for mentioning international education and the work done by the university to establish strong links with education institutes across various countries. Monica Turvey and Vice Chancellor, Barney Glover have established strong links with China and Vietnam, and there is some interest from India also. They bring a wealth of knowledge and understand we need quality. Barney has realised, speaking to potential students, they want quality - they do not want to be in a class with other international students. They want to be in a class with Australian students to experience the educational opportunities and culture of a western country. I congratulate Barney and the efforts of the Education department, and my department, in accompanying various delegations overseas. I also note the work the minister for Education has done in East Timor. We have an agreement with the Timorese government around internships with the civil service - a vital way to strengthen that country. They are fairly modest intakes at the moment. It is predominantly the English capability of the employees coming to Darwin and being away from home for that period of time. I thank the Resources minister. The minerals investment attraction strategy was highly successful and continues to be so. My first trip to Japan in February was to meet with JGC and the INPEX president, the Australian Ambassador, Austrade and JOGMEC - part of the government. What they know about Australia is what they know about the Northern Territory. The Northern Territory is well on the map in Japan. They know about our investment opportunities and our working strongly with them and China. China is a huge market and my involvement with the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce during the World Expo highlighted the potential. There are some extremely interested and well-off investors in the Chamber of Commerce keen to visit and see what opportunities exist. The department is providing the geospatial mapping of potential minerals and resources which adds to paving the way for investors. The pastoral industry is vital to the Northern Territory. I congratulate the minister for Primary Industry for working with his counterparts in Indonesia, and his departments efforts in establishing markets in Vietnam. At the moment, the pastoral industry has all its eggs in one basket. I note the Northern Territory Cattlemens Association met today to discuss potential for setting up an abattoir - having boxed meat as a 6518
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