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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 capital investment, because that was never the intention. With those sorts of occupancy levels, I have no doubt that the facility is more than meeting its operating costs and is successfully achieving the objective of attracting the >fishing industry to Darwin. From that position, I hope that we can look forward to further developments in fishing-related port infrastructure and, with that, the potential to capture the landed fish product and to develop off the back of that the processing operations that will give us the genuine multiplier effects of industry creation that can flow from a fishing industry. Many reports have been put to this Assembly to that effect. I remind honourable members that, throughout the world, the fishing industry has the highest job multiplier effect of almost any industry that can be named. It is recognised worldwide that, for every job at sea catching fish in a fully-developed industry, there are 9 jobs on shore. Those onshore jobs wi 11 be captured if the necessary shore-based i nfras tructure to support the industry is in place and if encouragement is ,provided for fishermen to go and catch the product and bring it into shore at the least cost. That should be the objective. I refer honourable members to the Norgaard Report which was tabled in this House and which outlined that strategy for development, a strategy which has been proven worldwide. The honourable minister raised the issue of attracting cargo into the Port of Darwin. It is a fact that the bane of the life of the Port of Darwin has been the inconsistency of throughput of cargo, both in and out. Far too few people who comment gratuitously on the performance of the port recognise that fact. If it .is necessary to have 50 or 60 people available to be able to handle 2 vessels when they are in port, if that is the minimum needed to handle a couple of vessels on a 3-shift basis to get the ships turned around, those people cannot .be expected to sit around and twiddle their thumbs, unpaid, when no vessels are in port. If we want them to be available, we have to recognise that the days of the old bullrings of Sydney are gone. The days when wharfies stood around in a circle for the boss to pick out those who had a job for the day and would get paid, finished in the 1960s. . Everyone recognises now that we need to increase the volume and regularity of traffic through the port. That will remove the idle-time payment the minister spoke about and, in doing so, will further increase the competitiveness of the Port of Darwin and, incidentally, will provide a number of other jobs away from the port, even in the transport and storage industries. . The opportunities exist and they involve more than just the odd few days. The member for Stuart said that it is all very well to have the idea of saving 2 or 3 days in transport time between here and Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide, but that we really need to go away and have a look at cargoes. Quite obviously, if we are to address the matter of marketing Darwin as an entrepot port transporting goods to and from South-east Asia, we will have to identify the goods and the opportunities and market the port to the suppliers and to the recipients of those goods. We need to work with the freight forwarders who have integrated systems and encourage them to relocate themselves through the Port of Darwin. I know that considerable work has been done on that over a number of years. More importantly, I am well aware that, in consultation with other ministers, the minister responsible for the port, the Minister for Transport and Works, has done a considerable amount of work to identify freight opportunities and to achieve that objective. r am well aware of the great difficulties involved in attracting shipping services to the Port of Darwin having myself done some of the early work in 1985 and 1986, traipsing around and knocking on the doors of shipping companies in London, Copenhagen and Singapore and listening to the sort of 5593