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 scenes so members can prepare for the business government is bringing on. A notification four minutes prior to the matter being brought on places members on this side in a severely disadvantaged position because we do not have the raft of staff, particularly those who are not the Leader of the Opposition. We each have one electorate officer to prepare for a volume of work which is not insubstantial. Consequently, we rely on communications from government. Because they cannot get their stuff together, members on this side of the House have to organise themselves quickly to give a useful and coherent contribution to this debate. It is an unfair practice, an unnecessary practice, and quite impolite. If the government cannot get itself organised why on earth do people on this side of the House, in fact the Territory as a whole, have to suffer the consequences of a disorganised government that only brings business to avoid embarrassment not advance the Northern Territory? Mr McCARTHY (Construction): Madam Speaker, I respond to the Chief Ministers statement on the marine supply base. I am honoured to participate in a debate in this House, particularly about such an important matter. The Chief Ministers exciting and important statement is about growing our port. In August this year, the Chief Minister called for expressions of interest from national and international companies to build and operate a world-class marine supply base adjacent to Darwins East Arm Wharf. The marine supply base will be a purpose-built facility to allow the rapid and efficient servicing of the growing offshore petroleum and gas industry. It will service all activities associated with the exploration, construction and operational phases of this industry. The oil and gas production industry in the area from the Arafura Sea to the Browse Basin is growing rapidly. Identified reserves are significantly in excess of that currently being produced, with significant growth potential as exploration proceeds and projects are developed to the production phase. Industries servicing that growth will need to increase, including the number of support vessels and various types of new generation vessels, and wharf space. With Darwin being so ideally placed to capture the rapidly growing oil and gas business, that growth impacts directly on a need for services at East Arm for supply vessels or rig tender vessels servicing oil rigs in the seas north and west of Darwin. Through the work the Darwin Port Corporation has done in talking to stakeholders, we know the major oil and gas companies require the provision of productive and cost-efficient services a world-class marine supply base would offer. This is why the Chief Ministers announcement is so important. Developing an internationally benchmarked marine supply base at East Arm is the first step in securing this important business for the Territory. The proposed marine supply base adjacent to the East Arm Wharf will complement the existing East Arm facilities allowing for quick and cost-effective transfer of goods through Darwin to support the offshore facilities. In September 2009, the Darwin Port Corporation led a research team consisting of corporation officials, Northern Territory Treasury, and Department of the Chief Minister executives to investigate models and best practice operations being employed in the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and Southeast Asian marine supply bases. The research identified key occupational health and safety practices, equipment, support services, and the infrastructure necessary to allow for the development of a marine supply base in a competitive commercial environment. That research also gave government a good understanding of the growth which impacted on local businesses and communities as their offshore support businesses grew. In June this year, I launched the East Arm Wharf Facilities Masterplan 2030 Land Use Strategy. This key land use strategy gives port stakeholders a clear understanding of what facilities can be accommodated in the longer term to give certainty for future expansion plans. The master plan is a blueprint for the East Arm Wharf and the adjacent land and sea areas for the next 20 years. East Arm Wharf is a major strategic asset for the Territory and plays a key role in our economic development and the ability to attract new business to the Territory. The master plan is part of the current $150m infrastructure program to upgrade and expand the facilities at East Arm Wharf. This investment will facilitate growth in trade and enhance local and regional economic development. Work is currently under way on the $9.5m eastern reclamation project that will provide additional hardstand areas for the port, and $15m has being provided for the reclamation of Pond F behind the bulk loader. This work is also under way and will, again, provide further hardstand areas. Our geographic proximity to Asia permeates our community. You only have to look at our weekend markets to see how strongly the Territory embraces the culture of our near neighbours. This geographic and cultural closeness to Asia, combined with the continued 6521
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