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 254 and have tourism in the Territory really firing. We cannot undersell that and underestimate what we are going to do. I know it is all words at the moment for you but watch this space - you watch it happen; this will fire. I am delighted to say that Tony Mayell CEO of the previous Northern Territory Tourism Commission will be returning to the Territory to become CEO of the new reconstituted Tourism NT, and will also have a seat on the board. He will be based in Alice Springs. Tony has also been appointed Executive Director of the Southern Region for the Department of the Chief Minister. This dual appointment further cements our commitment to the regions, making tourism a pillar of our threehub economy. Tony will not just be the CEO of Tourism, he will also be heading up the Chief Ministers Department in Alice Springs. That is giving him real clout to crash through and get some of this stuff on the road to get this thing going. Together with the other commissioners, they will seek to maximise the potential of all the initiatives I have described, for the benefit of all Territorians. That cannot be underestimated. Again, this is for the benefit of all Territorians: you guys over there, us guys over here - for everyone - for our kids, for the future of our families, the whole bit - the whole lock, stock and the two smoking barrels. Whatever it might be, this is about one product for the whole of the Northern Territory. The new reconstituted Tourism Commission will provide strategic advice and guidance on how to address the many challenges that lie before us - and there are a number of them. Tourism has changed, despite what we claim you have not done, and the previous minister failed to do. Despite all that, tourism has still changed, and the way we go about attracting tourists to the Northern Territory and wherever you might be trying to attract tourists to, has changed. So, there are many challenges that lie before us, but we believe this will be a source of innovation and inspiration for the whole tourism industry. As part of a three-hub economy we take tourism very seriously; it will form part of the three-hub economy; it will form part of the future of the Northern Territory; it will put the future of the Northern Territory back into the hands of Territorians, and on that, Madam Speaker, I commend the statement to the House. Mr VATSKALIS (Casuarina): Madam Speaker, I was very pleased to hear the member for Greatorex speaking about tourism. He actually gave some insight into what he is going to do for tourism and what he is planning to do for tourism. I commend him for that because I have the same passion for tourism as he has. I collected some frequent flyer points by flying to China to attract tourism to the Territory. I was very pleased to be in China when CCTV, the biggest state channel in China, screened a documentary about the Territory to 700 million people. I was looking forward to the Chief Ministers statement because I thought it would be a detailed, deep analysis of the economic opportunities for the Territory and provide some new ideas; but instead we got a muddled statement, a shallow statement with no vision and no ideas proposed, nothing at all. It was just a statement to fill the time. Obviously the other side has no business to put before the House, so lets put a statement together, that will take a few hours so Tuesday will be taken up and on Wednesday we have some legislation to introduce and we can do that. I know that is how politics works. This statement showed Territorians what the previous Labor government achieved, because many of the things highlighted in the statement were put in place by the previous Labor government. Many people have spoken to me about how the CLP government is trying to erase any memory of the Labor Party and its achievements over the past 10 years. We have seen that happening slowly in many areas, such as not saying exactly what happened and how it happened, or who did it. All of a sudden, within nine weeks, they are claiming everything that happens now is their work and happens because they are in power. The only thing I agree with the Chief Minister about is the need for diversification of our economy and the opportunities of the Northern Territory. The good old days have long gone and we have to think outside the square, we have to broaden our horizon. We live in Darwin in the Northern Territory, and many times I have said that to our south there are about 30 million people, while to our north there are two billion people, and two billion people means for us two billion opportunities in various sectors. I turn my attention first to mining and energy. It was mentioned before by the Leader of the Opposition that one of the statements the Chief Minister made some time ago was that the INPEX project is a 19th century project. Today we had every person who spoke here praise INPEX; some even went so far as to say that it was INPEX that saved the Territory from the global financial crisis. It was not INPEX, it was this Labor government. It was this Labor government that took the Territory to the world; it was this Labor government that declared the Territory is open for business; it was this Labor government that introduced the Territory to Japan, China and other Southeast Asian countries.