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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 I will use 2 extreme examples: the movement of bulk tonnages by one method and spare parts by another. A few extra days in the movement of bulk tonnages to their point of destination really does not add a great deal to the end cost of the product. However, an extra couple of days in transit time for spare parts can be incredibly expensive. A weight-speed ratio can be calculated that is reasonably consistent across a wide range of products. A product with low weight and high cost generally needs to be moved quickly and is transported by air. At the other extreme, bulk items that are moved by sea transport are generally very high in weight and low in price per unit. Items in between those extremes will be transported by road/rail. Some would argue that Bond airships should be used. The point that I am making is that it is not sufficient for us simply to say that 3 days will be saved by routing the cargo through Darwin. We need to examine the types of cargo that are being transported so that we can determine which areas may find it economically attractive to use the Port of Darwin as a link to markets. Perhaps, at' a later date, the minister will tell us the volume involved in that, what proportion of that volume we could expect to achieve and what proportion we would have to attract to achieve our break-even point on the wharf. Many of the recent improvements appear to be the result of efforts of the federal government through the interstate commission and the workers and unions at the port. I am prepared to accept the minister's assurances that the Port Authority has been very active. However, I would like to have seen more information on where we are going in the future. In respect of the Frances Bay mooring basin, I made this point when we first talked about it. We need to be provided with figures in relation to such aspects as the rate of occupancy of berths and break-even rates, so that we can evaluate the trends over time. These are the indicators which I would like to see in ministerial statements so that, as a parliament, we would be better able to judge the performance of ministers and assess how things were actually going rather than listening to large amounts of rhetoric. It is quite easy to say that the basin is full now or almost full. Obviously, there are some times in the year when it is almost empty because people are working at sea. Mr Coulter: It is 110% booked. Mr EDE: Mr Speaker, as I was going to say, if it were full all the time, that would be rather worrying because it would indicate that people were not going out to sea and consequently not earning a quid. If people are paying while they are away, and the level of bookings is 110% throughout the season, it will be interesting to see how that relates to the overall financial situation. It is possible that only on-site costs are covered and that the project relies on off-site flow-ons. That information has never been provided to the parliament and it is the sort of information which I hope the minister will provide, either in his reply or at some time in the near future, given the positive nature of his statement. In conclusion, Mr Deputy Speaker, I commend the statement, particularly the minister's remarks concerning my friends in the Waterside Workers Federation. Mr FIRMIN (Ludmilla): Mr Speaker, statement on the Port of Darwin. 5589 rise to support the minister's

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