Debates Day 3 - Thursday 19 November 2015
Parliamentary Record 24
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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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES Thursday 19 November 2015 7417 have the economic or business nuance on how to make the connections and get the deal done and (2) because Labor, in its last term of government, fought the forestry project and wanted it stopped. The member for Arafura has spoken passionately about what it will mean for his people. He knows we are trying to assist communities such as those at Minjilang, Oenpelli and Maningrida, and the outstations, to advance their opportunities into the future. We are working with many communities in his electorate and others to see how we can drive economic reform. This is partly what October Business Month is about: getting businesses from all over the Territory to come together in an exchange to learn and celebrate successes, harness new ideas and take them back to their businesses to see how they can learn, grow and prosper in the future. A strong business sector, particularly a strong small business sector, is so important for the Northern Territory, because 95% of all businesses in the Territory are small businesses. It is the small businesses which employ people. We should celebrate that. I recently gave a speech at the opening of the H105 Mitchell Hotel and Apartments. I said that developers these days, including in the Northern Territory, are often attacked, particularly by Labor, because they see developers as nasty people. Developers create jobs. I reflected at the opening of H105 on the types of jobs that have been created there, whether they are excavators, scaffolders, concreters, chippies, tilers, painters, hotel room cleaners, front door staff, waiters, bar staff or managers. If it was not for the proponents of that building, hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs would not have been available in that construction. There are jobs in construction and ongoing jobs different dynamics, forms and sizes. We should be celebrating that. That is the environment we offer in the Territory. It is something that is at risk if a Labor government ever came to power. Yes, the Tiwi Islands development is one of the biggest successes of government, but there is a massive selection. The deal for the Darwin port is ground-breaking for the future of the Northern Territory. I measure three great things: the formation of self-government; the development of Darwin as an offshore LNG supply base in the 1990s I think it was 1998 when INPEX was first given its lease in the Browse Basin, plus, before that, for Darwin LNG and now the port. The port is one of the missing pieces of the logistical architecture. Yes, we have roads from south to the north. Yes, we have rail from south to the north. We have roads that connect Western Australia to Queensland. The port is important because that is our connection to the rest of the world. While we have the largest international airport in northern Australia and a massive and diverse university in Charles Darwin University, the port will connect us to the rest of the world, particularly to Asia. We all know the changing dynamics in Asia. By 2050, 60% of the worlds population will live in Asias climatic zone. More people live in the Asian region than outside it. The port connects us. It is not just about a place for ships to berth, refuel, unload and offload; it is what you get into and take off the ship. The bigger the port, the bigger the ships and the more cargo that comes in, and the cheaper it is to load and unload, which means cheaper goods and services. That is a good thing. The bigger the port, the bigger the ships, the bigger the opportunity to get things onto the ships, which means as we develop our agriculture, horticulture and all the agribusiness sectors, despite what we have now, in the future we will have larger infrastructure to facilitate those trades. Whether it is Legune Station with sea farms or Humpty Doo Barramundi, which is looking to expand, they produce jobs because they are developing. That is great. These are some of the experiences we heard of in October Business Month. But as important as that port deal is, another deal announced this week, the North East Gas Interconnector, is something that will change the landscape of the nation. I say the nation because there is much talk, which we all know about, of how Western Australias iron ore industry carried Australia in many ways, particularly through royalties. If we get the environmental formula and the framework settings right, the gas industry can do much for the Northern Territory, particularly the downstream gas industry with manufacturing and the thousands of jobs it will create, knowing that all the royalties from onshore gas will now be going to VET and higher education. We will have the smartest state, which will be the best resourced with the best access, with the most jobs growing, and we will be the people underpinning the growth in our nations economy. That is what is changing here. I talk a lot about infrastructure roads, bridges and telecommunications. They are like veins running through the Territory. Too much of the Northern Territory is closed to communities and business. It is closed because of lack of road access or because of parts of the year when water cuts people off. Roads, bridges and telecommunications connect people, business and economies. That is why we are putting $7m into
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