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
Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Thursday 16 August 1990 I am totally confident that the Conservation Commission will ensure that this is a well-managed park which will become a feature among Australian national parks and a destination equalled by none for tourists from interstate and, overseas. It will be another j ewe 1 in the Northern Territory's crown, and I commend the minister's statement. Mr SMITH (Oppos it i on Leader): Mr Speaker, I ri se to congratu 1 ate the government on its initiative in establishing the Gregory National Park. It is sometimes forgotten' that, despite the fact that we have some very well-known parks in the Northern Territory, the percentage of the Terri tory's 1 and area devoted to parks is st ill somewhat be low the Australian average. I am not saying that as a criticism but simply as a fact. It is important that we identify areas of land which have the potent i alto become parks and move to consoli date them into parks on an ongoi ng bas is. We have seen the estab 1 i shment of the West MacDonne 11 s National Park and now we have the Gregory National Park. That is certainly to be commended. . I do not know the area of Gregory Nat i ona 1 Park at a 11 well. However, what I have heard about the area certainly indicates that it is well worth conserving as a national park. I agree with the member for Katherine that, in our national parks, we, need to be conscious of the varying needs of people who want to use them. There is a very large and growing market for wilderness-related activities in the Northern Territory. One of the complaints in the tourist industry a few years ago was that the wilderness-type experience was rapidly disappearing in the Territory and that people were travelling to Western Australia to have that experience. One cou 1 d hard ly say that Li tchfi el d Park offers a wil derness experi ence these days but, with the open i ng up of Gregory Nat i ona 1 Park and wi th pioneering initiatives such as that of Terra Tours in Eva Valley, we are starting to provide a comprehensive wilderness tour concept. I think that is to the good of the industry. In terms of the need to identify land suitable for the creation of further national parks, the next area we need to look at is the Gulf country, some of which is really magnificent as a few discerning tourists have di scovered. A couple of alert tour operators have i dent ifi ed the area's potential and I believe that, before very long, there will be considerable pressure on it. The Gulf Area Study went some way towards identifying particular areas which might be consolidated into national parks and, hopefully, those areas will'be considered soon. I want to'take this opportunity to recognise the efforts of ohe of my constituents, who has a single-minded obsession with one of the early expeditions into the country now know as Gregory National Park. His particular interest is in Thomas Baines who, I believe, was the main artist on the maj or exped i t i on into that area. The member for Katheri ne may know my constituent, Willy Pedersen, who has been single-minded in his devotion to ensuri ng that the efforts of Thoinas Baines in the Northern Terri tory and during that particular expedition are well recognised; 'Certainly, he has put an enormous amount of his own time and resources into fully invest i gat i ng that area and to wri t i ng up, in cons i derab 1 e deta il, the historic aspects of that expedition. I have had the pleasure of seeing some of the work that Willy has done on that area and, when it is completed,it will provide a very valuable historical resource. I want to take th i s opportun i ty to express my concern about recent actions of the Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries in relation to Kakadu National Park. The honourable minister was very quick to condemn the 9911
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