Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1985)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1985)


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 - Wednesday 27 February 1985 ceiling in many of the areas. Instead of there being room to install false ceilings so that all the services can go between the false ceilings and the actual ceilings, a gang of cement gougers have been employed to gouge out parts of the concrete floor to get the services in. That is a fairly strange story but it is not quite as strange as what happened in the restaurant area of the hotel, where the ceiling is very low indeed. Most of us here would probably bump our heads. The hotel owners or the restaurant manager decided to solve this difficulty by turning it into a Japanese restaurant which means that you go in and out on your hands and knees. I am assured that that is true. I look forward to seeing that when it is opened. I was somewhat surprised when the minister addressed himself to the tourist area. He spoke well about the development of facilities in that area. This government has a very good record in relation to the development of tourist facilities. However, I am constantly amazed that the government does not address itself at any length to the question of the creation of employment opportunities in the tourist industry, particularly for Territorians as distinct from other people coming to the Northern Territory to take up jobs. As a measure of my concern, I would ask for example, how many jobs at Yulara are held by Territory residents, in the sense of people who were residing in the Territory before they went to Yulara. For example, how many croupiers at the casino are Territory residents in that sense? Without knowing the answer, I would be very surprised if it is very many, and that is of concern to me. Mr Speaker, in a very real sense, at this stage in our development, we seem to have a colonialist approach to outside Territory investment. A typical colonialist pattern of investment is that money comes from outside. The profits largely go back outside and the management staff basically come from outside. The locals are given all the poorer-paid jobs and there is very little training of locals to take over the better-paid jobs. If you think that through carefully, I would submit that it is a pretty good summation of where we are in many of our tourist industry projects. Of. course, there is one additional factor in the Northern Territory: the government has offered a number of investors, particularly the bigger investors, a guaranteed rate of return or some other incentive to come here, Consider, for example, the casinos. In the last 12 months, the. government has spent an enormous amount of time and energy arranging the transfer of the casinos from one operator to another yet, as far as I am aware, not once has the government addressed employment opportunities for Territory residents in that context. With all the money that we mentioned this morning, with which the government has assisted the new operators, one would think that the governm~nt would have been in an excellent position to insist on training programs for locals right through the structure of the casino. By training programs, I mean particularly those at the management level. I accept that the casino probably employs a large number of people as housemaids, janitors, cleaners and that sort of thing but I am concerned that the casino and other big projects are not taking up the opportunities that should be there for our young people to get involved in what is a worldwide industry that offers enormous potential. What we should be looking at is, in 10 to 15years time, some Darwin people - kids now but young adults then - being very high up in the Sheraton empire. There might be an assistant manager in New York or an assistant manager in Majorca or wherever. Mr Palmer: What are the kids from New York going to do? Mr SMITH: Any international hotel in Australia is full of American accents and people who are part of that worldwide empire. They.have been trained there. 54

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