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 goat production characteristics and to determine management requirements of goats raised on improved pastures in high rainfall areas. This work will be undertaken at the Coastal Plains Research Station. Whilst I commend this, because this is the first time ever in the Northern Territory that regard has been paid to this small but burgeoning animal industry, I deprecate most strongly that the Northern Territory government has not at least matched that amount. It might be said that $l3 500 will go a long way considering the price of a pedigree goat but it will not when all the costs inherent in the management of goats are taken into consideration. It has been brought to my attention that, to carry out this project, the government is looking at buying local stock at minimal cost - less than $100 per animal. I say that this is spoiling the ship for the ha'p'orth of tar. lithe officers of the Department of Primary Production had any sense and were looking to the long-term interests of the goat industry and the long-term interests of what 'could be a very profitable overseas export industry, they would not be looking around for the small-time local stock that I and other people have; they would be looking down south to bring up first-'class, top quality stock from the maj or 3 breeds that can be bred and which will make money in the Northern Territory. I must say here that I have received every encouragement from officers in the Department of Primary Production when I have made inquiries about veterinary matters. I know that other goat breeders have also. But when it comes to information on husbandry and management, I would say that the industry again leads the government. I would like to reiterate that, if the Department of Primary Production really has the interest of the new goat industry at heart, it will look to spending a bit more than this $13 500 that the Australian Meat Research Committee has allocated for research into the goat industry and buy top quality stock down south. I have good reasons for saying this. The Gunn Point Prison Farm is in my electorate and one of the income-earning projects at Gunn Point is the breeding, management and husbandry of a very good herd of pigs. They are not ordinary pigs; they are top class. If memory serves me correctly, they are large, white or landrace pigs. Not only do these pigs supply top class pork for government institutions and other places, they also provide an income for the prison farm which sells breeding stock to interested people. These people are in the rural area in my electorate and in other places in the Northern Territory. If the government continued this profitable practice by buying top class goat stock from down south and managing it under Top End conditions,it would not only do the industry a great deal of good but it would also help and encourage further the people who are in the industry now. They are only in it in a small way but they have put their money where their mouth is. They have spent all their capital. They have started little farms in the rural area and they are the people who. I believe deserve all the help and encouragement the government can give them. If these people are encouraged by the government, it can orily work to the long-term betterment of the industry. The people have helped themselves. The goatkeepers have got together and formed a club of which I am a member. I have other connections with the club as well. I can see that, because of the interest generated in the Association of Goatkeepers up here, similar goatkeepers, goat clubs and associations will be formed in other parts of the Territory. I can see in the very near future a very profitable export industry. While I am on this matter of a goat export industry, I might say that the people who are engaged in goat husbandry at the moment have sought their own local markets. I would say that, to a man or a woman, they have a product to sell. They have meat and milk to sell and they have gone out on their own 82