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 268 to come free and the Gunn Point Peninsula has been proposed as an area for development for at least 20 or 25 years. Nothing has happened in the meantime. I thank the minister for his statement. The threehub idea is too narrow; we should have a multihub economy and there are probably many other things I have not spoken about. There are small economies like art, Indigenous art, and defence. I am sure you could have a small mixed economy where you have small business operating in a niche market and that could be anywhere in the Territory. That is part of your economy as well. While we talk about the three-hub economy we narrow it down too much because there are many other options, big and small. They will not all hit the headlines but there are many options that will help our economy become a better economy. If we keep talking about the economy and do not include the rest of the Territory, including people from remote communities, in the benefits of the booming economy, then we have not achieved anything. As the minister said in his statement when he talked about economic prosperity: Economic diversification will enhance the standard of living of all Territorians by generating higher economic growth, greater employment and income growth. If he believes that then that is good, but how that will happen in reality is the $60m question. I hope it does happen and I will be watching and asking the questions if it is not happening. ____________________ DISTINGUISHED VISITORS Mrs Aagaard and Dr Burns Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: I would like to acknowledge the former Speaker and member for Nightcliff and the former member for Johnston in the Speakers Gallery at the moment. Members: Hear, hear! ____________________ Mr VOWLES (Johnston): Before I start I would like to say gday to the former member for Johnston and the former member for Nightcliff. Good to see you Chris and Jane. Mr Deputy Speaker, I welcome the first ministerial statement of the new government touching on tourism. Some would say this is a real opportunity to get into the nitty-gritty of what the Country Liberals have been working on in 11 years of opposition. I admit I expected something strong, something with teeth. After 11 years in opposition, I was expecting more detail, more vision. I was disappointed. As shadow minister for Tourism and, given all the fanfare the CLP has created about their three-hub economy and tourisms important role in our economy, I was looking forward to the tourism section, in particular. I, like many Territorians in the tourism industry, was very disappointed. The important tourism sector that employs more than 10 % of our workforce and contributes $1.4bn to our economy deserves more. The Chief Ministers ministerial statement highlights to me that, according to the CLP government, the tourism industry is the poor cousin in their three-hub economy. It is the poor cousin with no detail, no outline of their programs or initiatives by their leader. Eleven years in opposition and this is all they have to offer us, apart from the dislocation and disruption to the industry by throwing a grenade into Tourism NT and creating jobs for mates and supporters in Alice Springs. As brief as it was, I will speak to the statement where it covers tourism. It is true that we, like every other jurisdiction in Australia, are faced with difficulties in the tourism industry with the high Australian dollar. This is self-evident. Then the Chief Minister spoke about the competing demand for accommodation for tourist visitors versus workers in our growing major projects. I agree that managing these pressures is an area we need to work on with industry, but the Chief Ministers statement seemed to talk about the current pressure on the accommodation sector in Darwin as a bad thing. There have been some pressures on short-term accommodation, which are consequences of INPEX and economic growth. But more companies are seeing opportunities in developing serviced apartments and owners of newly constructed apartments are capitalising on this growth in our local economy. There are new properties that are coming on-stream, for example, the Halikos C2 property on The Esplanade and the redevelopment of the old MLC office building on Smith Street for tourism accommodation. New investments are adding to tourism infrastructure and the smart money is looking to capitalise on the tourism spin-offs from the development of the gas industry in Darwin. I did not hear one squeak from the member for Greatorex, the minister for Tourism, about the impact of the 2007 intervention on the availability of hotel and motel accommodation in Alice Springs. Like good business people everywhere, everyone was busy enjoying the benefits of that injection of money into the Alice Springs economy. However, the Chief Minister has failed to outline what he, as leader, is doing about programs and initiatives to combat these difficulties faced by the
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