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 still people in the Australian community, both in the Northern Territory and elsewhere, some of them young and others middle-aged, who have either the expertise or the expertise and a few dollars, and who are willing to come and settle in the Northern Territory on small pastoral blocks or agricultural blocks if larger pastoral holdings are subdivided. BefOre I receive a deluge of phone calls from people in the pastoral industry asking what I am on about, I would like to stress that I am not suggesting that the government 5hould step in and reef areas off the properties of pastoral leaseholders in order to subdivide them. J believe that the situation should be actively examined, not only by staff in the Department of Lands and Housing but also by staff in the Department of Primary Production and Fisheries. Those departments should actively examine this situation because, once we lose a large number of long-term residents, it will take us a long time to get a solid, stable population back into the Territory. What better sort of people could we have in the Territory than people who are interested in primary industry? As the member for Sadadeen says, such people are the salt of the earth. They put their money where their mouth is. They invest all their labour, capital and time in the Territory. Usually, they are the people who stay in the Territory through thick and thin and they are the sort of people who should be encouraged. We have seen increasing activity in the horticultural and agricultural industries, although the pastoral industry has been going through the doldrums with the BTEC program. At some stage in the future, when all the shooting and killing finishes, perhaps we will see a resurgence of activity in the cattle industry and associated industries such as the buffalo industry. The course of action I am talking about would be to the betterment of the Northern Territory in more ways than one, if the government would only take it on board and look at it. It would let people have a go, allow them to put their money where their mouths are and encourage them to do what they want to do in the Northern Territory in terms of productive work and assisting our economy. For many years, people in the pastoral , agricultural and horticultural industries have been showing the lead to the government. I am not knocking the officers of the Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries, who are out in the field trying to help people through extension work and research work. They are following in the footsteps of the individuals who have already blazed the way. They can only do what they are told to do and the directions come from the top. Unfortunately, there has been a sad lack of direction from the top in primary industry in the Northern Territory for as long as I have been here. I believe that the people who make the decisions in the primary industry sector of the public service should be out in front, encouraging people to come to the Territory to try their luck and to setup small family farms, to give it a go to help the economy of the Northern Territory. They should be out there advising those people and telling them to grow this or to grow that. Unfortunately, that is not what has occurred in the past. If the honourable minister is interested, I can cite many cases over the years in which it has been the private farmer who has tried things first. He has tried them on his own recognisance with his own finance. He has not always been successful, perhaps trying 5 things and being successful with 2 and always having to bear the cost. Whilst I appreciate the help which has been offered to me personally by officers of the Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries, as do others engaged in primary industry who have received assistance, nevertheless I believe that there has to be a shake-up at the top. A lead has to be shown to primary industry rather than the 5615

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