Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 February 1989)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 February 1989)


Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990




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 - Thursday 16 February 1989 the case. Naturally, shippers pay only for the hours they use waterside labour. However, the employer still faces the bill for the full week's wages. The difference between the time worked and the remainder of the week is calculated on a nationally-agreed idle-time levy system, and this is incorporated in the charge-out rate. Reducing the idle-time component of the port levy is a sure-fire way of helping to bring down port and stevedoring charges, and I am pleased to say that some significant progress has been made towards improving idle-time costs. In the 12 months from March 1987 to March 1988, the idle-time levy in the Port of Darwin was reduced from $38 per hour to $25 per hour; This was achieved largely as a result of the Port Authority and waterside workers coming to an agreement on voluntary redundancies at the port. Moves are being' made, in conjunction with the powerful interstate commission investigating a national waterfront strategy, which could see some innovative advances in the near future in the area of work practices and industrial arrangements. In simple terms, we are looking at the possible benefits to all parties of a single, flexible and multi-skilled work pool covered by 1 award. In the meantime, however, it is pleasing that the number of cargo vessels visiting the Port of Darwin has been increasing slowly but steadily over the past few years. Mr Speaker, I will briefly outline the current position. We are receiving regular monthly calls from vessels of a multinational consortium which provide the Territory with access from Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Cool Carriers is using Darwin for meat exports to North America following a 9-year closure of maritime access to this market, and is undercutting the cost of the traditional conference lines which ship meat from southern ports. Cool Carriers is also investigating the possibility of exporting prawns. Bank/Columbus Lines has increased its level of calls on its around-the-wor1d service. 'Kapitan Grishin', the first Perkins Shipping vessel to use the main wharves, did so in November to the satisfaction of all. A very quick turnaround was achieved. Perkins Shipping's new vessel, 'Markam Bay', made its maiden voyage to Darwin last month and has now commenced its regular service to Singapore and South-east Asia. It is also encouraging to report that another Territory company, SEA Carriers, which is managed by Captain Ian Broad of North Australian Marine Services, made its first call to Darwin in the Arktis Trader on 6 February. Captain Broad was impressed by the quick turnaround time and by the performance of the Darwin wharfi es as well as the Port Authority's container crane, which is in place as a result of the government's $35m upgrade. The vessel arrived at the start of the morning shift and was gone by midday. The aim - and mostly it is achieved - is to turn non-bulk vessels around within a shift or on the same day. Quick turnaround is the name of the game in shipping. SEA Carriers plans to establish a regular service between Darwin and South-east Asia, which is obviously one of the types of service that the Port Authority is trying to attract to Darwin. While there has been a slow increase in the number of cargo vessels calling at Darwin over the years, there has also been an improvement in the number of cruise ships calling at the port. A total of 9 cruise ships have scheduled calls at Darwin this year. In 1986, the Port Authority built and commenced operating a facility custom-built for Darwin's fishing industry, and that was the fishing harbour mooring basin. The performance of the basin has exceeded all expectations. The basin, which has a total of 89 berths, was fully booked out for the 5587

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