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 269 tourism industry. If I wanted to hear a commentator, I would pick up a newspaper or watch the news. Unfortunately, this statement only appears to provide commentary on tourism with no details about what the government is doing for this very important industry. A sad reflection of the Chief Ministers personal priorities; he is seemingly more interested in the Ord River than tourism across the Territory. The tourism industry is ever-changing and working in hard, challenging times. The only way to achieve the best outcome for the tourism sector is to talk to the industry and support the development of fresh and appealing tourism products, in short, to be smart - talk to the people who know. If this government was serious about tourism it would be talking to the industry - talk to the tourism sector, talk to the investors in the industry and talk to the operators on the ground. Unfortunately, this is not happening with this government. This new CLP government appears not to be in the business of consulting when it comes to tourism. Before the election it consulted no one about its plans to move Tourism NT to Alice Springs. It did not come into the open to say this was its intention during the campaign and ask what the tourism industry thought about it. No, this government thinks it knows best, and we now see this government forcing legislation through this parliament without talking to the industry again. This CLP government is not in the business of talking to people who work in the industry and that is very disappointing. The Chief Ministers statement mentioned the recently released federal governments white paper, Australia in the Asian Century. He did not go on to say how his government plans to align with the white paper but, perhaps, that is coming. Once again, I was left wanting. I thank the minister for Tourism for his short statement about his passion for tourism in the Northern Territory and for outlining some parts of the CLPs vision - the governments vision of how the Territory will go forward in the tourism sector. He mentioned the Masters Games. I also attended the Masters Games; it is a fantastic event which has bipartisan support. I appreciate and thank the minister for Sport, who is also the minister for Tourism, for his bipartisan support in allowing me to provide the opportunity to hand out medals to people there. It is a great event and something that really drives the economy in Alice Springs, and we need to keep focusing on that. The work of the former Labor government was very much in the space when it came to tourism in the Asian market. In particular, tourism, with the strong support of the former minister, has been working hard with industry guidance here and overseas to position the Territory to grow and benefit from the emerging tourism markets to our north. At the end of 2011, the then minister for Tourism launched a discussion paper on activating the China market. A number of key short, medium and long-term activities were well under way under the banner of six key priority areas being identified. These were: understanding the market; aviation success; Northern Territory industry capability; developing the experience; partnerships and marketing communications. It is clear we are in front in building key relationships and tapping into the growing Chinese tourism market. Again, any work in this space, if it is to be successful, needs to have its forefront consult with the tourism industry. I can only hope this CLP government changes its current strategy of not consulting sooner rather than later, for the sake of the industry. I am left with very little detail to respond to from the Chief Ministers first ministerial statement to parliament about the three-hub economy. What has been revealed is, according to the CLP, tourism is the poor cousin in the three-hub economy with little detail being provided about its program and initiatives. Similarly, the poor cousin given the minister they have chosen to put in charge of it; a minister already notorious for doing things his way and not listening to anyone. Now he is a minister, his decisions affect all Territorians. The minister is notorious for not listening and making ranting, raving speeches and whining about having to come to Darwin, his workplace in the Legislative Assembly. As a minister, he is already notorious for not consulting with industry. However, I digress. I welcome the news today I heard of Virgin Australias investment into Tiger Airways, a $62.5m investment into growing Tiger Airways. I really hope the minister for Tourism has picked up the phone and called Virgin Australia to try to get some more flights into the Territory. I look forward to further detail from the government when it comes to tourism and their three-hub economy. It is a pity the Chief Minister had none, and was simply commenting on the current situation. Motion agreed to; statement noted.