Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 30 October 2012
Parliamentary Record 1
Debates for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES Tuesday 30 October 2012 249 and operated by Charles Darwin University. One of the things I love about that project and that great Labor vision of bringing the university into the city and making our city a true university city, is that it is linked with the NRAS rental housing subsidy scheme the Commonwealth Labor government has. Not only will it provide state-ofthe-art facilities for people wanting to study business and hospitality in the heart of our CBD, at the waterfront, it will also have student accommodation. Any of us who know the importance of getting that all-important international student to the Territory and the spend they bring with them would understand the importance of that student accommodation at the waterfront. What an exciting project for Charles Darwin University to show as it travels through Asia in terms of the opportunity to grow education. But there was no mention of that in this statement. I welcome that the CLP in government now has some good things to say about the Labor government in Canberra. It has found they are not all mad because it is congratulating the governments white paper on Australias future engagement with Asia. It is recognising how important Darwin will be in this important area, looking at our proximity to Asia, our natural attributes, our potential sites for new ports, and expanding liquefied natural gas processing. It is fantastic the CLP can finally see there might be some opportunity in working with the government in Canberra. I hope the Chief Minister ensures planning commences immediately for an economic forum focusing on the Asian century to be hosted in Darwin, sending invitations to all our Asian neighbours, and understanding we have important trading relationships not just with China and Japan, but, with Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam, to name a few of our closest neighbours. There is a challenge I am laying down for the Chief Minister in responding to this statement - get out there, roll up the sleeves, and have an Asian century economic forum hosted in Darwin. Invite our neighbours and really engage and create this white paper as a platform for the Asian gateway trade opportunities we know we could yield. You would think, having listened to the bizarre antics of the member for Katherine in Question Time today, that we have no relationship with anyone in Asia except China and Japan. Well, the President of Indonesia chose Darwin as the site of the Australia-Indonesia Ministerial Forum. He chose Darwin as the site and recognised the importance of that. There was a very strong commitment from the then Labor government of the Northern Territory to ensure we have Bahasa language across our schools. I was looking for that detail in his statement, looking for the reassurance that commitment would be delivered and it was missing, despite the Chief Minister having said on several occasions that he would focus on Indonesia first and foremost in regard to Asian engagement. I had the pleasure of catching up with the Ambassador to Singapore just last week. We recognised the importance of air links between Darwin and Singapore. Again, despite this statement talking about the Asian century and tourism, there is no mention of SilkAir and the opportunity those SilkAir flights from Singapore to Darwin can yield for our tourism industry and our business industry. It is not mentioned because it is an inconvenient truth that Labor pursued, with industry partners, the SilkAir flights to Darwin, bringing that allimportant business class traveller to Darwin into this Asian gateway that we are. We saw in this statement a reference to cattle and the shipments to Vietnam. There is no mention that the Labor government went out Madam SPEAKER: Your time has expired. Mr CONLAN (Tourism and Major Events): Madam Speaker, that was very well done. It was a shame you ran out of time Leader of the Opposition. Congratulations again on finding your niche in life. You are doing a wonderful job as Leader of the Opposition - just extraordinary stuff, very impressive. Member for Katherine, I hope you continue to clock up hundreds of thousands of Frequent Flyer points in your role as the minister for Primary Industry and a Minister of the Crown in the Northern Territory. It means you are out there doing something. It means instead of sitting around twiddling your thumbs, asleep at the wheel like previous ministers, certainly the previous ministers for Sport and Tourism who did nothing, it is incumbent on you to go to the airport, board an aeroplane and promote the Northern Territory anyway you can. I encourage more of it and I hope you clock up hundreds of thousands of frequent flyer points over your time as minister because it means you are doing something. Get off your backside, member for Katherine, and get out there and promote the Northern Territory right away! This is what it is all about and this is the legacy this government has inherited - the idle, the stationary. It was very hard to mobilise previous ministers, particularly in tourism. Tourism is one of the pillars of the three-hub economy the Country Liberals government is
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