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 have any staff on the ground in Southeast Asia - they had removed them all. I go back to the statement on Growing International Trade. It talks about the importance of face-to-face contact with people and relationships. You have a statement which talks about the importance of relationships and having people in place and developing trade, yet the current government sacked everyone in Southeast Asia - did not want any face-to-face contact - and 16 weeks before the train was due it needed containers. Unfortunately, we did not do that well; we sent many empty containers from Darwin to Adelaide to make the train look full. The statement talks about providing services for people to do business. Arafura Resources came here and were quite keen to Ms Purick: Good company. Mr STYLES: Yes, good company, good record. A member: Encouraged to come here. Mr STYLES: Yes. They found it is a little hard to do business in the Northern Territory; they took their business to South Australia. What a blow, because they would be helping this marine supply base, and the people headquartered in the marine supply base. If we want to grow the marine supply base, we need people who will bring in stuff we are going to use. There are a number of other things in the statement, and it is interesting to listen to people on the government benches talk about what was and what used to be. This afternoon there was a snipe about Asian Relations and Trade being no more than a travel agency. I quote from page 4 of this document: The strategy encourages a lot of things. Its aims It has a number of aims. Halfway down the page it says: We have a dedicated investment team to assist Chinese companies to - 1. Customise a visit program to the Northern Territory. Well, if that is not a travel agency. It says: Meet with potential business partners, government agencies and key stakeholders. That sounds like lunch to me. I do not have a problem with that. Perhaps the government understands now if you are going to do business much is done over meals, especially when dealing with Chinese people. It is a cultural thing, and if we do not do it people may choose not to deal with us. I do not have a problem with it; however it is interesting when the government has a snipe at the Country Liberals for doing the cultural thing protocol tells you to do. I see they are encouraging those things to happen. Further on that page it says: The success of this strategy has been strong. Over $140m in publicly announced deals That is publicly announced deals - I do not know if the money is in the bank. The second dot point says: Over 120 visits by Chinese companies since 2007 ... It will be interesting to see what happens when we start losing air services. If tourism numbers pick up it will be hard to get on a plane. A number of comments are made through the document; however it really goes back to attracting and retaining staff. When speaking to executives of the multinationals attending the conference, one of their major concerns was attracting and retaining staff. They said it is crucial to any business anywhere in Australia, or the world, that you not only attract good staff, you retain those staff. If we do not have services in place to ensure those people feel comfortable, and have access to a good transport system, we are not going to attract and retain good people. If we do not supply people who live and work in Darwin, like my children, and local businesses, with good fabric in our community they will suffer. Madam Deputy Speaker, there are lists of things the government claims to have achieved but time restricts me going into them. I would like to ask the government to make this the success it deserves to be and give the support these people deserve from a government and a community. I also ask they look at health, education, law and order, the airline industry, and the ability to supply those services in a timely manner so they do not remain in their current state. It is imperative we get those things right otherwise the marine supply base will be just another great idea. Mr HENDERSON (Chief Minister): Madam Deputy Speaker, I thank all members who contributed to this debate. It is an exciting time to be planning for a marine supply base for Darwin to capitalise on the oil and gas exploration and production taking place to our north, north-west and in Asia, and to capitalise on the INPEX 6534

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