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 248 was another key attractor to investment in the Territory in terms of business. We heard bizarrely from the Treasurer today that it was the INPEX project that took us through the global financial crisis. That goes to show she does not understand that for three years before the capital investment started to draw down from that Ichthys project by INPEX, it was a $4.6b infrastructure investment by the Labor government giving small and medium-sized businesses right across the Territory real capital programs to construct, that literally kept the doors of businesses open; kept our construction sector at a growth capacity gearing up for when the major project would start to hit its straps. We are just seeing the start of that now. Critical also to that capital works program was the investment in the Power and Water Corporation and the construction of the new prison. I note that the CLP rail against both. Private investment is surging back, quite aside from the $34b INPEX/Total investment. We have seen a $750m Montara oil field expansion. We have a $60m investment at Darwin Airport. I thought that would have rated a mention if you are saying tourism is a part of your three-hub economy, but there was no mention of it by the government. Also, production commenced on the $1.1bn Kitan oil field, as well as multiple defence redevelopments that amount to something like a $200m expenditure by the Australian government in defence infrastructure across the Territory. All of these factors are missing from your threehub economy. You do not mention defence in your three-hub economy. Given that defence is such a significant investor in our Territory and a contributor to our economy, given that we will only see growth in the prospect of that, and given it was so important for the Minister for Business to board a plane, leave parliament and go to a conference about defence, you would expect there to be mention of it. But it is a completely off the agenda for the CLP who simply have no idea. It is not in the three-hub economy. And where did we leave the economy? Well, they would think it was just one major project. Again the inconvenient truth gets in the way of the CLP rhetoric. DeLoittes Access Economics forecasts the Territorys economic growth to be the strongest in the nation over the next five years and we saw the CommSec report just last week forecasting the Northern Territory to have the second strongest economic growth across the five years at a ten-year high. You do not reach that point without investing right across the economy. Resources will be more amply covered by the former minister for Resources and the shadow but, as I said, the inconvenient truth for you - a 31% increase in exploration in the Territory - there is no mention of that. There is no mention of the investment made in capital in the Darwin Port. The bulk mineral loader that exists at the port today was not there under a CLP government, and you cannot grow mineral resources trade across the port without a bulk mineral loader. The Nolans Bore, which is the Arafura Resources rare earths project, was given scant mention in the ministerial statement, saying there is, unfortunately, not a state-of-the-art processing plant for that. I ask the government, are you proposing that you would offer Middle Arm as a site and a location for the processing plant for the Nowlans Bore mine? If you are, you have not read about some of the toxic by-product that would occur. I know you describe the Ichthys project as a 19th century project and one that should not be in the middle of Darwin Harbour, well I will give you a tip, if you consult with the Darwin and Palmerston communities on the location of a processing plant for Arafura Resources for the Nolans Bore mine and you propose Middle Arm - I look forward to the communitys response to that. I also look forward to find out how it could possibly meet any environmental impact study on its location in the harbour. Yet, you are posing the question in your statement as to why a state-of-the-art plant cannot be in the Northern Territory when Arafura Resources wanted to locate it in Middle Arm. If that is a clear signal that under the CLP government you are open for business, open for Arafura Resources to put a processing plant in Middle Arm, you need to come clean with the Northern Territory community and sort that one out right away. Or, are you proposing to put that industrial site at Glyde Point? If you are proposing a site at Glyde Point, where is the $500m investment in infrastructure? I will be having a careful look at your 4 December mini-budget for that. The point you make in the statement about wanting to put the minerals through East Arm Port ignores the fact that there is a bulk minerals handling facility there, and investment in conveyor belts and hardstand. The statement talks about the importance of education, yet I note there is no recognition of the importance of the Charles Darwin University business and hospitality school in the Darwin Waterfront Precinct. I welcomed a very minor mention last week by the Chief Minister in this parliament that the business and hospitality campus for Charles Darwin University would be proceeding at the waterfront - another great Labor initiative. You talk about education and the importance of education as an economic hub, yet you fail to mention there will be a new business and hospitality campus in the Darwin CBD, open