Territory Stories

Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 30 October 2012



Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 30 October 2012

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Parliamentary Record 1


Debates for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Hansard Office

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES Tuesday 30 October 2012 247 under our former Tourism minister, the former member for Arnhem, very strong work was done in encouraging the development of Indigenous tourism businesses and enterprises across the Northern Territory. Mr Westra van Holthe: Tell us if that actually closed the gap anywhere. Madam SPEAKER: Order! Ms LAWRIE: I know the member for Katherine is a little sensitive because I am pointing out how much you miss when you put your hastily cobbled together statements before this House. Instead of chuckling, you might want to talk about the tourism enterprise the Jawoyn are running at Nitmiluk in a funding partnership from the previous Labor government. But, perhaps I am pushing a few buttons there. It is extraordinary that the entire ministerial statement makes only one scant mention of Indigenous Territorians and any opportunity for any traditional owners. That is on page 19, and is just one paragraph talking about the opportunity of the Ord. Regarding the opportunity of the Ord, what we have is rhetoric and no substance. The Ord was subject to much grandstanding and rhetoric by the CLP in the lead-up to the election, ignoring the fact that the Northern Territory was already a partner on the task force in pursuing the future potential of the Ord. The current minister made a reference to the Ord Stage 3 today. What we have seen, though, is despite the minister for Junkets - as I now call the member for Katherine, who likes to board that plane and head out of the Territory whenever he possibly can. He is a frequent flyer; he gets the tip for the frequent flyer so far. He headed over to Kununurra to look at the potential areas for development. However, there is no mention anywhere of the infrastructure and the quantum of infrastructure investment required to realise the Ord Stage 3. Whilst there is a scant reference in the statement to talks having taken place with the traditional owners, there is not one mention of their requirements for payments if their land was to be developed. I will be watching with great interest when the mini-budget is handed down on 4 December because we have rhetoric without substance in this ministerial statement. I will be looking for the tens of millions of dollars set aside for any settlement of native title to develop the Ord Stage 3. I will be looking for an amount in the vicinity of $200m in capital to develop Ord Stage 3. I know the members opposite are chuckling. That shows their ignorance. I know what you fail to realise there are significant infrastructure requirements to develop Ord Stage 3. If the members opposite think they are going to rely on their new-found friends - as the member for Braitling would have us believe; he has discovered that Canberra exists and that it exists to go seeking infrastructure funding from and that somehow Canberra will stump up all of this infrastructure required to develop Ord Stage 3, and the tens of millions of dollars required to settle any native title issues, they are kidding themselves. The reality is that Canberra is on a significant belt-tightening pathway of its own. If you think someone will magically stump up a magic pudding to meet your rhetoric, then you are in la la land. Maybe that is why you are slashing and cutting a swathe through the budget of the Northern Territory. Maybe it is because you have come to a realisation that your rhetoric and promises - your unfunded promises in the election - simply cannot be met without slashing and burning through the existing Territory budget. Maybe it has dawned on you that you have set yourself a whole host of pain headed your way - as the member for Barkly pointed out last week - in your unfunded election commitments. In his statement the Chief Minister talks about diversifying the economic base for the benefit of all Territorians. The CLP would have us believe we were a one-trick wonder in government by landing the nations second-largest major project, the $34bn Ichthys project. Well you do not reach the point of fast becoming the oil and gas hub of northern Australia through investment in the marine supply base at East Arm just by landing one major project. You have to send the investment signals out there in terms of the foreign investment picture. A clear example of where the investment signals cross resources - not just oil and gas, but across resources - is in the area of mineral exploration. Mineral exploration in the Territory grew by 31% to more than $195m under Labor. We were sending the clear signals via the fine work done by the then Chief Minister, the member for Wanguri, and the minister for Resources, the member for Casuarina, where they consistently went into China and Japan with the mineral investment exploration strategy. We drew down a $195m investment into mining exploration, growing that, as I said, by 31%, under Labor. But that is a truth the CLP wants to bury in the sand and ignore. We also provided a tax environment which would attract business. We maintained the lowest taxing regime in terms of small and medium-sized businesses through the decade of a Labor government. Creating the lowest tax environment