Territory Stories

Debates Day 6 - Thursday 15 May 2014



Debates Day 6 - Thursday 15 May 2014

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Parliamentary Record 12


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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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES Thursday 15 May 2014 4466 out pretty soon and replace its services with Jetstar. First, so what? It would mean Mr Vatskalis: I thought Jetstar was dodgy. Mr CONLAN: No, your deal with Jetstar was dodgy. It seems you do not like the product because if what you have suggested is true they will replace a 737-800 with an A320, which has 30 or 40 seats more capacity. We would be getting an increased capacity into Alice Springs if they replaced a daily service from Sydney or Melbourne. The member for Casuarina is saying more capacity into Alice Springs is a bad thing. The member for Casuarina, the shadow minister for Tourism, was the Minister for Tourism at some point and did not learn much because we want to see increased capacity to Alice Springs. If Qantas pulled out, which they will not, and replaces it with Jetstar and an A320, that has an increased capacity of 30 or 40 seats Mr VATSKALIS: A point of order, Madam Speaker? I draw your attention to the state of the House. Madam SPEAKER: Ring the bells. A quorum is present. Mr CONLAN: Madam Speaker, the member for Casuarina has said in this House that increased capacity into Alice Springs will be a bad thing. Mr Vatskalis: No, do not put words in my mouth. Mr CONLAN: That, by inference, is what you are suggesting. If we replace Qantas with Jetstar, which has an increased capacity on an A320 an extra 30 or 40 seats per day that is a bad thing Mr Vatskalis: If. Mr CONLAN: You said it will happen. I say if it did what is the problem? The only problem would be if we had no one flying into Alice Springs. One airline has already serviced Alice Springs for a number of years. I find it curious when Tigerair pulls out or Jetstar comes in, everyone picks on the airline servicing the region not the one that has left the region. Hats off to Qantas for its continued support of the Northern Territory! I do not know who you are talking to, member for Casuarina, but we talk to the organ grinder not the monkey. Qantas is going nowhere ... Mr Vatskalis: Good. Mr CONLAN: It is good. However, if it were it would not be such a bad thing because we would have an increased capacity. The other side of that is why would an airline pull out a premium service and replace it with a discounted carrier? That would leave the market wide open for another premium service carrier to come in. It is not good aviation economics, and I thought you would have learnt that. It is pretty clear you did not learn much about aviation and capacity during your time as Tourism minister because you signed up to the Jetstar hub, which was a great disaster. Mr Vatskalis: Which you let go and it went to Adelaide. You were so bad Adelaide got it. Mr CONLAN: We have launched our new sponsorship agreements with the Melbourne Demons and Adelaide United, exposing thousands of sports fans to these two key domestic markets every week. It is the Do the NT brand every week on a football field. Hundreds of thousands every Friday night watch Adelaide United. We are committed to growing our tourism industry in all corners of the Northern Territory, and budget 2014 will help us continue our good work and achieve this goal. I have made it no secret this is a make or break year. In 2013 we had a consolidating or revolutionary year and did a lot. We leased Territory Discoveries, relocated to Alice Springs and started our new brand and our new domestic and international marketing campaign of $8m. Many things took place in tourism, and Alice Springs saw a slight bounce, which was a direct result of Tigerair flying into Alice from Sydney and Melbourne four times a week. Tigerair say they cannot sustain that. It is obvious you cannot fly an airline on $50 airfares. You can between Sydney and Melbourne when there are a number of cycles and the aircraft is flying a lot, but if it is flying a couple of time to Alice Springs and back it is hard to compete with the big guys. There is a lot of science around discount airlines as opposed to full service airlines and I will not go into it now. It is sad to see Tigerair pulling out of Alice Springs as at 22 July, but we are still enjoying good services into Darwin at this stage. Darwin is facing different issues, not airline capacity issues as such. We are facing an accommodation squeeze due largely to the resource sector. While the hotels are full and the restaurants seem to be going okay, our tourism attractions are feeling the pinch. These people are not here for a tour or to visit an attraction. They are staying in hotels and enjoying a drink and a meal in our bars and restaurants. However, the tour and attractions side of things is a problem at the moment, and Tourism NT will do everything it can. Already this year 700 new hotel rooms are

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