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 working but nobody could have any pride in the frontage of that Berrimah Research Station. Coupled with that, I hear that there is to be an attrition of staffing pos i t ions in the Department of Primary Industry and Fi sheri es. I hear it is to be in the order of about 25 positions. That is a result, I would say, of the economy dri ve that is sudden 1 y sweep i ng the government because of its straitened financial circumstances. In this atmosphere, I recognise that the department has to tighten its belt as have other government departments. However, in this case, 1 believe it is a,rather short-sighted move. Departments like the Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries are supporting the development of the Northern' Territory and that means that they are supporting jobs in the Northern Territory .. Mr Reed: There are some. members in this Chamber who would close down the BTEC section pretty quickly. Mrs PADGHAM-PURICH: I am not talking about research staff. I have been told that these positions will not be abandoned. They will stay on the books as vacant positions. One hopes that, at some time in the future when times are a little better, or when the minister can speak with a stronger voice in Cabinet, they will be filled. To be perfectly honest, the block along the front of the Berrimah Research Station is not very good, horticultural land. I have been told that the better horticultural land is towards the back of the farm where stock are held from time to time;' I have been told also that there are plans afoot to establ ish a tropical horticultural research institute with a combination of forces from the Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries, the Commonwealth and the Northern Territory University. I believe that this is only in the planning stages as yet, but that it is being contemplated seriously. . This is not just a building. Land for the growing of crops must be included.; This has to be located at the Berrimah Research Station. Not only is itanideaTlocation for it but it: is also a place which ' large numbers of people drive past everyday, . especially people from the Darwin rural area 'who are actively engaged in agriculture. Those people can see what is going on. 'It should be a showplace for agriculture in the Top End but, over the years; because of the selling ,off. at the farm, it has lost its importance' in the research field. This land is definitely needed and I believe it is the duty of the minister to thump his mates in Cabinet hard to get the land back, especially from the Minister for Lands and Housing. Mr Reed: We bought a research station last year. What are you talking about? Mrs PADGHAM-PURICH: I know that you are sell i ng off your research stations instead of keeping them. I do not know what is to happen to this land if the Minister for Primary',Industry and Fisheries does not regain control of it. I have heard rumours that the governmenti~ thinking of selling it off as industrial land for strip development. If that is: the case, the' government will strike some problemswith'the Planning Authority in the rural area and with other people who would oppose such a:move. 9971
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