Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 2010
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
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Thursday 21 October 2010 is an increase of 2.6% and is the highest of all Australian jurisdictions, further highlighting the strength of the Northern Territory economy. Economic growth is expected to moderate in 2009-10, with strong continuing growth forecast in the 2010-11 financial year at 3.6%. The Northern Territory currently enjoys the highest growth state product per capita at more than $73 500 for every Territory man, woman and child. Our offshore oil and gas sector amounts to a full 20% of our economy, already more than the $3.2bn, and our current major offshore projects and prospects will drive further strong growth and opportunities. In the context of the Northern Territorys low unemployment - currently the second lowest of all Australian jurisdictions - our Territory workers in the offshore oil and gas industry are among the most productive in the local economy. Workers in the mining, oil and gas industries can contribute around $900 per person to the growth state product. This compares with an average contribution of around $130 per person for the whole of the Northern Territory working population. The Northern Territorys business sector remains confident and is looking to capitalise on the opportunities presented. In August this year, the Sensis Business Index showed the Northern Territory is experiencing the nations strongest trading conditions. Northern Territory small to medium firms have the nations strongest sales, employment, wages, profitability and capital expenditure plans, highlighting the underlying strength of the Northern Territory economy for the business community. Figures show Northern Territory businesses have an overall confidence factor of 56% compared to 37% nationally. This was the highest level of business confidence in the country, followed by Victoria at 54%. Regional businesses in the Northern Territory have even higher confidence, with 59% of businesses outside Darwin showing confidence compared to a national regional figure of 37%. Reasons for confidence include forward orders and contracts, and the knowledge there is plenty of work. Sensis noted small business support for the Northern Territory government is also soaring. I repeat: Sensis indicated support for the Northern Territory government is soaring, recording Australias largest increase in overall rating for any government in Australia. It is not the time to rest on our laurels; we need to build on this platform and lock in benefits from these emerging opportunities and the infrastructure, business investment and supply and service capacity already in place. This will provide further security to the Northern Territorys long-term economic viability and growth. To support the continued development of the offshore oil and gas sector and the onshore processing and supply and service business opportunities, we have already put in place infrastructure and assets to underpin growth. This infrastructure has been undertaken by the government as an investment in the Territorys future. These are assets we need for future expansion and to enable development opportunities to continue in this hub. Infrastructure and assets such as the railway, port, the business park, the common user area, the developing Defence Support Hub and related industry support infrastructure including roads, power, water and waste water facilities and service. The common user area is a 30 ha site located in close proximity to the East Arm Wharf. The area is for use by business to engage in various economic activities to further enhance business opportunities through the East Arm Port and its facilities. Integrating with and complementing the existing common user area, which was developed following strong Territory business interest, will also be an important consideration in the development. My Department of Business and Employment, continues to provide important and valuable services for Territory businesses. We have strong business support programs to further develop and provide opportunities to businesses in the Northern Territory. We are working to attract investment. InvestNT came online in April 2010, and while it is too early to gauge the success of this vehicle of investment attraction, the early signs are promising. We promote and market the Northern Territory, and our products and services, through the Asian Relations and Trade portfolio, and promotional activities throughout our international region. We are actively working to enhance employment and training through our Jobs NT and trades training development. I am pleased to note the establishment of the Larrakia Trade Training Centre funded by INPEX, which could be an important facility for Indigenous skills training. Through Jobs NT, this government is investing more than $300m towards building, developing and retaining a highly skilled local workforce. We are working with the Department of the Chief Minister to support and facilitate major project development such as the marine supply base and, of course, INPEX. These major projects go hand in hand. With the establishment of the marine supply base, major projects such as INPEX will have access to a range of Northern 6529
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