Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 August 1990)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 August 1990)


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 August 1990 decade, to the time when Paul Everingham led a CLP government in this place. Everi ngham and the government he 1 ed made overtures to South-east Asia and established the policy of successive CLP governments that the Northern Territory should look north, not south, when it comes to its opportunities. There are opportunities not only in business and trade but in education, culture and sport. I know because, in the 1 ast 5 or6 years, I have been involved in developing those relationships. I am absolutely de 1 i ghted that Darwi n has now been chosen as the As i a Pac i fi c trai n i ng centre for the International Union of Local Authorities. I compliment the minister and the local government people who have been involved in putting together our application. It is very appropriate that Darwin be chosen as such a centre. The honourable minister gave us a range of reasons why Darwin should be that centre. He went on to say that the true Australian centre for the Asia Pacific region is Darwin. Geographically, it is the centre of the South-east Asian region. I have often seen maps of the region with concentric circles. drawn using Darwin as the centre, indicating that Brisbane and Adelaide are about the same distance away as Jakarta, Singapore and Sydney, Hong Kong and Melbourne, etc. The other real ity is that we have a multicultural society here. A large percentage of our non-Ang10-Saxon people come from Asia or South-east Asia. They are part of our Northern Territory and, in particular, the Darwin community. I welcome the contribution that those people and their children are making towards developing not only our culture but our industry and a whole range of other things. I understand that the centre wi 11 host up to 250 students per year. That, of course, is in addition to what is already happening in this region. The Northern Territory, in particular Darwin, is already seen by the South-east Asians as part of the Asian region. I have had the opportunity and the privilege to participate in a number of delegations that have visited South-east Asia, and Indonesia in particular, over the last 5 years or so. In fact, I visited Indonesia on several occasions prior to becoming a member of this Assembly. I can tell you from personal experience, Mr Speaker, that the relationship between the Northern Territory and Indonesia has developed enormously over the last decade. No less than 4 Northern Territory Chief Ministers have been hosted by the President of Indonesia. I cannot recall, and certainly it has not occurred in my time in parliament, an Australian Prime Minister being hosted by the President of Indonesia. I cannot recall any of the Premiers being hosted by him. I stand to be corrected there, but I do not recall it. However, 4 of our Chief Ministers have been so hosted, and we do not have the status of a state. We do not have that constitutional recognition in this country. Nevertheless, so much importance is placed by that country on the relationship with the Northern Territory of Australia that 4 of our Chief Ministers have been accorded that privilege, and 3 of those sit in this House today in various capacities. It is of importance that a centre for South-east Asian studies has been estab1 ished at the Northern Territory University. Whilst that centre may be quite small at this stage, it is expanding. A recent press release from the Minister for Education announced the appointment of another academic to that centre. The minister outlined a number of ways in which the Northern Territory government, the Department of Educat i on and the un i vers ity have been involved with developing relationships in the field of education with those South-east Asian countries. Once again, I can speak from personal 9892