Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 19 November 2015



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 19 November 2015

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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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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 19 November 2015 7401 In addition to certainty, consultation is critical. Consultation relationships in government must be transparent and be of a widely-spread group. I want to ensure all business has a level playing field; there will be no favoured circle under a Labor government. I believe the Labor governments Business Round Tables were a very useful mechanism for getting people together to discuss business issues. Going back in time to when Clare Martin was Chief Minister and introduced that, I thought it was an excellent and important consultative mechanism. Governments and oppositions should not, and cannot, act in a bubble. They must take advice, listen and learn from what is happening on the ground. The best way to do that is to make sure you are open to all opinions and as available and accessible as possible. You have to trust people; in trusting them they will then trust you back. Trust is at the heart of consultation. I have said we will invest in infrastructure to create jobs. Our investment will be aimed at leveraging private sector growth. We will, as a government, continue to expand and develop the oil and gas industry, bearing in mind at all times that we must protect the environment. We have worked very well with INPEX and ConocoPhillips, and have good relationships; we can be trusted to get that balance right. I will continue to push for diversification and strengthening of the different sectors. The tourism, primary industry, international education and defence industries all continue to have strong support of government. We have a good opportunity to diversify, and the government is doing some good work in that space, but a Labor government can provide stability, certainty and trust. We can get that right faster because trust is critical when you work with communities and business communities. Labor will reinstate the Team NT approach that was pioneered by my mentor, Clare Martin. The team will work to me if I am ever given the gift of being Chief Minister and my senior ministers, with Territorians from across political lines as well as the business and community sector. It will be charged with the responsibility of promoting the Territory to Australia and the regions. One of its first tasks will be to help stem the flow of Territorians leaving us for life interstate. We have a significant concern about population numbers, losing over 3500 Territorians last year in interstate migration. That is very concerning and should be ringing alarm bells. We have to make sure we address that loss of talent and skills. It is one of the greatest threats to our economic and social future, and it affects our economy across the board. We must get population retention right. It is critical that ministers and members of the public sector travel, but travel needs to be open, transparent, tested prior to departure and reported on when ministers travel overseas. We have to get that right and we have a very good policy in that space. It is important to be transparent. I have always believed the future of the Territory requires innovation. It is very much how we built the Territory. The can-do attitude was very much about innovation, thinking creatively to solve problems that were often created by remoteness and distance. We have challenges with climate, long distances and isolation, and we need to make sure we harness what is a strength. It can be seen as a problem and a challenge, but it also provides opportunity. We need to look at the technology that exists around the world and how we can embrace it. The accelerating explosion of digital technologies is producing profound changes and no sector of the community, economy or business will be untouched by this revolution. The march of the much more sophisticated, powerful and cheaper digital technologies is inevitable. Technology can conquer distance. We have to be thinking very creatively about how we access this. Utilising technology well will lead to a healthier, smarter and more prosperous society. It is the key to creating a fairer and more harmonious community and protecting our unique natural assets. When it comes to technology, it can confound the tyranny of distance if we get it right. It can deliver world-class health and educational services at a fraction of the current cost. It can create new industries. It can supercharge the ones we already excel in. A failure to embrace this juggernaut and change will guarantee lower growth, employment and wages, and less opportunity. We have to get it right when it comes to the new world and new technologies. That means we have to be a creator and not just a consumer of the technologies. There are many disruptive technologies around today that will change our future, but there are three we can see right now that are impacting: driverless cars; Tesla batteries; and 3D printing. South Australia is taking a lead on this already. It has held a global conference on driverless cars and is trialling driverless cars on the road. It is embracing this and working out what it means for them. We have to think about this because it will demand new planning arrangements and have other impacts. They are coming. If you want to be ahead of the curve, you have to be planning ahead of the curve. You have to be thinking about it before it hits. There is massive conversation amongst the business community and in the general