Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (11 November 1986)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (11 November 1986)


Debates for 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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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 - Tuesday 11 November 1986 have to payout bigger subsidies by killing the goose before it has even had the chance to lay the golden egg. They knock Kakadu at every opportunity. They denigrate it as a 'clapped-out Holden'. I hope that the Minister for Tourism will take some part in this debate, because he will be able to explain to us 'why this government subsidises tourist industry profits on the one hand and on the other hand rubbishes the very areas that will ensure that those subsidies can be reduced. I would like to refer to a scenario that was put to me the other day by a person in the tourist industry. He was referring to the amount of discussion currently taking place about mining in Kakadu. I was trying to explain to him that I thought it would not happen and that he should not really worry about it. He said: 'Hang on. Take the example of a retired couple in San Francisco who have decided that at the end of their working life they are able to make an overseas trip. They are deciding where to take this trip. It will probably be the only one they will be able to afford. They have seen Crocodile Dundee and they are very impressed by what they saw, but they have also been shown a lot of information on places in Europe. They then start to hear stories of mining in Kakadu and how the government of the Northern Territory is objecting to its inclusion on the World Heritage List'. As the person said to me, the information may be incomplete but there will be a clear message to the potential tourists and the result will be that they will opt to go to Europe. That is what we will have to wear in future years, if the government continues at every opportunity to denigrate and knock the wonderful heritage we have at Kakadu. The Minister for Mines and Energy says that only 1% of the area will be affected if everyone of the mining operations goes ahead. That is palpable rubbish. Take the case of Ranger 68, for example, about 20 km from Ranger. The proposal to mine it includes a levy bank around the mining area with a conveyor belt to carry the ore to Ranger. Let us think for a moment about what that entails: a conveyor belt 20 km long with a levy bank on both sides. That levy will be going through some of the most vulnerable wetland areas between Ranger 68 and the Ranger mine. The Minister for Mines and Energy wishes us to believe that the only areas that will be affected are those areas which are actually covered by the mining leases and things like conveyor belts and 20 km levy banks across wetlands are simply engineering matters which will not affect the land. That is rubbish. I would like to conclude by saying something about this expert which the government has suddenly come across: Mr Butler. Mr Butler is known in a number of different areas. He is known from the time. some 20 years ago. when he was a member of a combined services expedition to Western Australia. He travelled around central Australia and. in April 1967. he was met by a ranger in the vicinity of the Kintore Ranges. It was discovered then that Mr Butler had in his possession a slab that had been taken off the roof of a cave in that area.. When the piece of stone was examined. it was concluded that it could only have been removed from the roof of the cave by using a stone chisel. He was heading back to Western Australia with it. Do you know how long it took the authorities to get back that valuable Aboriginal artifact? This great environmentalist is nothing better than a pillager. It took 2 years to get that artifact back. That is the person that this government is relying on as the great saviour and conserver. He is the great pillager. Mr Coulter: You are the shadow minister for mines and you have not even spoken about mining yet. 771