Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 13 February 2014



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 13 February 2014

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Parliamentary Record 10


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 13 February 2014 3439 oil, gas and mining industries. The team listened with interest to what I had to say and I was pleased when they told me they already had a meeting with a Darwin International Airport team, and my presentation would reinforce their will to further examine Darwin as a future destination. As a matter of fact, they were investigating the capability of their fleet of Airbus 320s flying nonstop to Darwin from Hong Kong and were requesting approval from the necessary Hong Kong authorities. In Hong Kong, I also met with Ms Lavin Yu, Senior Operation Manager from Charming Holidays Ltd, and Ms Feris Fung, Tour Manager from winkletravel.com, who are experienced with tourism in Australia. During discussions, the following issues were identified which were preventing them sending tourists to the Northern Territory: the strong Australian dollar; the lack of direct airline access; the lack of available and suitable rooms; and the lack of any promotion to the Hong Kong public so they know there is a place called the Territory and what it has to offer. They showed me their leaflet with itineraries to all Australian cities but Darwin. The only place the Northern Territory appeared was in an itinerary from Sydney to the Rock and back. There was no Kakadu, no Katherine or Litchfield. When I mentioned these places to them and showed them some personal photographs, they were impressed, but they said there was no such promotion to the Hong Kong public. Admittedly, the Northern Territory government representative who is based in Shanghai meets with them regularly, but the public has no idea about the Northern Territory. I then met with Mr Tony Everitt from Tourism Australia, who advised me China had changed its rules regarding overseas travel and Chinese citizens could now travel to Australia by themselves, not just in a group. He also said 130 million Chinese will travel this year, and Tourism Australia will try to get as many as possible to Australia. Minister, this is a unique opportunity to promote the Territory. I then travelled to Guangzhou and met with China South, the airline that has aggressively expanded its routes into Australia and flies daily to Perth. I met with Mr Chen Guojun, Director General Corporate Strategy, and his team of six people. I told them about the possibilities and potential of the Territory. I told them the flight to Darwin from Guangzhou is only five-and-a-half hours and they can incorporate their flights to Perth or Auckland. I was very encouraged to hear Mr Chen advise China South would consider expansion to Australia and would be very happy to have discussions with the Northern Territory government, especially about the possibility of a joint promotion. Minister, I have done your job for you; I have made the first contact. It is your turn to work with Darwin International Airport and bring some of the 130 million Chinese to the Territory. I later went to Shanghai and met with Mr Shao Yi, the ex-Director General of East China Exploration company, which has significant investment in the Territory. He advised me, following his retirement from ECE, he was approached by the central government in China and asked to set up a company in Shanghai, listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, to explore further opportunities for investment. He was very keen to work with us to find potential in the Northern Territory. I intend to do everything to bring anybody to the Territory airline, tourism operator or mining company. On Tuesday, the minister spat the dummy again because he did not like the shadow minister for Tourism going to China and meeting people instead of him, despite all the obstacles he put in the way. He asked why I did not issue a media release. I am not interested in spin; I am interested in doing the job. He asked why I did not meet with anybody. I did. I was back at work for two days and met with a Darwin International Airport executive, and I intend to meet with Tourism Top End. The minister stated he was not prepared to spend money on unknown markets. Minister, I suggest you read your own Tourism Vision 2020, because that document states Tourism NT should spend money in, and expand to, China. My suspicion is the minister read his message, signed it and nothing else. Minister, tourism is a very important industry for the Territory and Territorians, and it is about time you treated it as such. Think outside the square, do not only listen to what the department says. Talk to ordinary people and find out what they want and try to deliver it. Yes, continue promotion in traditional markets that is good but you must promote in places like China. Once again, minister, I led the way. Now you can follow it up and do something for the Territory. As for the cost, I flew economy class all the way. The whole trip cost about $3000. I booked all my rooms on the Internet at the minimum cost I could find. Mr McCARTHY (Barkly): Madam Speaker, good news stories from the Barkly. Tennant Creek welcomes new Aussie citizen: Australia Day will always be special for Ottilia Nzimande, better known in the Barkly community