Territory Stories

The Centralian advocate Tue 5 May 2020



The Centralian advocate Tue 5 May 2020


Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT






Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs.; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers.; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers.; Australia, Central -- Newspapers.

Publisher name

Nationwide News Pty. Limited

Place of publication

Alice Springs


Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

Copyright owner

News Corp Australia



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

26 LIFESTYLE TUESDAY MAY 5 2020 CAVE01Z01MA - V1 MANY suggest Australia is a lucky country. Often that is meant to be a thinly veiled criticism of us by suggesting that things just seem to land in our laps. Thanks in part to our huge natural resources, and the benefits of being a large island well away from any neighbours. But those people miss something really important in Australians. And that is our ability to make our own luck. Its probably one of our strongest assets and its completely missed by most of our critics. That ability has been on full show during the COVID-19 crisis. Our leaders, the Prime Minister, state Premiers, and our own Chief Minister, have had to make hundreds of calls on the run, and they have done a damn fine job of that. Yes, they have been backed up by our world-class health officials. But there is also something innate in how our country responds to crises. We have proven time and again to be as good as anyone when the chips are really down. And there are now many Australians alive and well today thanks to those most recent efforts. This virus crisis has been as big as anything the majority of us have faced in our lifetimes. Now that our leaders are talking about reopening the economy, it can be very tempting to let ourselves relax for just one moment, to think that life as we knew it is again just around the corner. Like you, I wish that was true. But we arent at the beginning of the end unfortunately. We are just at the end of the beginning. Our next challenge is a fullblown economic recovery effort which must be designed, shaped, and then implemented. We accept that not everyone will agree with us. Many will believe that the economy is much like a garden tap. Its been turned off for a while, but all we need to do is to turn it back on, and things will start flowing again. Some really influential people dont see it that way though. Our Reserve Bank Governor for one. The Prime Minister too, along with almost every economic professional or commentator in the country. They have all pointed out that we are going to face an economic crisis of great severity. Obviously, that isnt the greatest of news for Territorians. We entered this virus crisis after enduring a very tough economic period. Our population was thinning and many of our economic indicators had minus signs in front of them. And now today, thanks to the virus crisis, our tourism and hospitality industries have closed, and our retail and transport industries have rewound significantly. Its going to be a big challenge. And we just cant go back to what we were doing beforehand. We need to sit down and quickly work out what bits of our economy needed to be fixed even before the crisis. And then, what things now need to be fixed because of the crisis. And finally, what do we need to do to genuinely realise the full potential of the Northern Territory. That is a lot of work to do. Not so long ago the Prime Minister appointed his own high-powered advisory committee to help chart a path forward for the national economy. The Victorian Premier has appointed a number of mission teams to drive the Victorian economy. And the New South Wales Premier has stood up a number of new structural arrangements for the same reason. They have reacted to the challenge and that should be an important signal to us too. Our only caveat is that whatever we decide to do, it must reflect us rather than simply copy someone else. The good news is that we have done this before. The Darwin economy was dead in the water after Cyclone Tracy but it was rebuilt brick by brick. First by the Reconstruction Commission, and then by the first NT Government established after self-government. We also dont need to look too far for other examples. Each time there is a drought, flood, fire or cyclone, we see the same sort of efforts right around this country. We are as good as anyone anywhere in delivering the recovery phase following those disasters. In those situations, we are clear about our goals, we slice through inertia and red tape, and we just focus on getting things done. In other words, we go about making our own luck! What we do next is as important as in any time in our history. If we do it well, then we will all benefit. We will just have to put up with those critics claiming once again that Australia is a lucky country. Of course we are, but only because we make it that way. DAVE MALONE IS THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF MASTER BUILDERS NT Australians work hard at making their own luck Some people believe the economy is much like a garden tap. Its been turned off for a while, but all we need to do is to turn it back on. Not so, writes DAVE MALONE Lone Dingo is closed until further notice Apologies to o ur valued custome rs for any inconvenience We'll be working htird to of product.$ onl,ne ~=tout full t.inge www loned1ngo co:~~: out lnwming deliveries soRRV. WE A E cLosED TO THE pUSLIC UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE ' please ull 89S.3 3866 MU EUM AND ART GALLERY NORTHERN TERRITORY