August poll: Giles promises on housing, tourism, gas

p2154-Adam-GilesLETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

Sir – My government has unveiled a transformational $1.645b program to build 240 houses a year for eight years in the Territory’s remote communities.

 

The proposed Better Remote Homes program will deliver more houses – and at a greater rate – than any previous government housing initiative in NT history.

 

Together with the current $350m National Partnership on Remote Housing, the Better Remote Homes program will achieve the government’s target to build 2087 new houses in remote communities by 2026.

 

These programs are worth almost $2 billion and amount to the Territory’s biggest funding commitment to remote housing since self-government 38 years ago.

 

The government is already committed to building 380 new houses and delivering over 1000 upgrades over the next two years under the National Partnership on Remote Housing with the Federal Government.

 

This includes 236 new houses to replace dwellings categorised as “beyond repair” which had been left behind by failed programs under previous Labor Governments.

 

My government is building an additional 152 new homes which we’ve been able to fund by reducing our administration costs to just 10 per cent – down from the 30% to 40% levels under Labor.

 

My government will support the program with a commitment from its Capital Works Program for each of the eight years for land servicing, subject to negotiation with the Australian Government and investment from the private sector for the total funding package.

 

TOURISM

 

Labor’s lack of vision for tourism is breathtaking: It recycles old ideas and is light on detail.

 

The additional $13m per year we’re putting into marketing and tourism infrastructure development would be cut to $5m under Labor.

 

They have no plan for China. All Labor does is attack the Chinese; simply look at their shallow comments on the port.

 

I will remain Tourism Minister if the Country Liberals are re-elected. No one even knows who the Shadow is.

 

The Territory is on target to reach its tourism vision of a $2.2b visitor economy by 2020 if current growth continues.

 

According to the latest statistics from Tourism Research Australia, in the 12 months to March 2016, total combined domestic and international visitors to the NT increased 28% to $1.7m, our highest in a decade.

 

Of these visitors to the Territory, 800,000 were holiday makers, a growth of 17% on the previous 12 months. This shows that our strategy is working.

 

Labor is bereft of ideas if the best they can come up with is a Masterchef program for kids.

 

Labor has copied the Country Liberals on China strategy and a National Indigenous Centre for Alice Springs.

 

Labor’s support for outdoor tourism is empty rhetoric. Hunters, fishers and 4WD enthusiasts know that Labor and the Greens want them out of the bush.

 

Labor also hasn’t ruled out introducing park entry fees, like they tried to do in the past.

 

NATURAL GAS

 

I am calling for a national energy summit to deal with issues arising from the crisis in South Australia caused by the state’s over-reliance on renewables.

 

Some of the country’s major industries are in danger of shutting down because of crippling power prices and uncertainty over supply.

 

I agree with South Australia’s Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis that other states are facing a similar crisis. This fact has been foreshadowed by independent authorities and regulators including the ACCC.

 

Solutions cannot be found overnight, but the NT is uniquely placed to help avert disaster: We have abundant onshore gas reserves that can be used to generate low-emissions, low-cost electricity for the rest of Australia.

 

A national energy summit should also consider connecting the NT to the national electricity grid and the possible construction of a second gas pipeline from Central Australia to Moomba.

 

These can both be achieved under the Commonwealth’s agenda to develop Northern Australia.

 

Labor’s uncosted policy to enforce 50% renewable energy by 2030 would be catastrophic for Australia and the Territory.

 

Independent modelling has shown it would increase power prices in the Territory by upwards of 400%.,” he said.

 

Labor sold out 6300 jobs and the Territory’s biggest industry to win preferences and support from the Greens. Michael Gunner ought to be ashamed of himself.

 

Adam Giles

Chief Minister

 

 

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7 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Roger W Miller - Senior of Gunn/Darwin.
    Posted August 5, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Mouth goes one way, belly goes the other. Why does the outgoing Member for Braitling ‘still’ reference all comments to the soundly defeated Labor Party four years ago?
    Ultimate faith in the CLP spin doctors and monetarist support from The Ageing OLD BOYS CLUB (aka renewable management board) has actually been this government’s downfall and the polls come 27th August will forever be Adam Giles’s ultimate failure in politics as his lowest popularity survey ever.

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  2. R Henry
    Posted July 25, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    If these amounts of public moneys is to be spent to build these houses what measures are to be in place to ensure better keeping and maintenance of the houses so they will have a more normal life span of usability?
    Does onshore reserves include fracked gas?

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  3. David de Vries
    Posted July 20, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    This energy beat up is Giles’s bid for a post election job. The fossil energy dinosaurs are circling their wagons to defend their market and they need stooges to create smoke screens. Good for a few years’ employment…

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  4. Jim
    Posted July 19, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Well said, Marcus, everyone loves to stick it into the CLP but they wont come out and say how they are going to help Alice grow and prosper.
    We will all see all money spent up north. Then if the Greens get their way we will be eating by candle light as the sun goes down. Can’t wait.

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  5. Marcus
    Posted July 18, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    I agree with the energy issue as South Australia seems to be in crises with frightening jumps in power prices. It is now and expensive place to live.
    It is hard to know exactly what Labor stands for politically, as they prematurely closed the power stations without ensuring reliable, reasonably priced power.
    Added to that, workers suddenly found themselves unemployed and the small close-knit towns in South Australia’s north are dying because of the Green’s policy which Labor obeys.
    I can see why Labor needs votes to get it over the line everywhere in Australia now, as it’s support base has shrunk.
    But to ally themselves with a party philosophically opposed to what they are MEANT to stand for – working men and women and their families – then it is nothing more than a puppet of a very narrow focused political party.
    Maybe someone should start a political party for the workers – a real one. It might even prove popular, especially with those employed in the natural gas industry and everyone else who relies on power.
    In the mean time, don’t vote Green / Labor if want to maintain your standard of living.

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  6. Phil Walcott
    Posted July 18, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Independent modelling by whom? Where is the evidence you are relying on, Adam? What is the breakdown? The people need facts, figures and transparency.
    Crystal ball statements about “catastrophic” outcomes are meaningless. Scare tactics, political spin is not what people want to hear. Projected spending over the next six weeks is all you can rely on. If the current government is not returned, the projections you allude to are meaningless and academic at best.
    Affordable housing initiatives in urban, rural and remote areas free from over-crowding and with adequate infrastructure are crucial to evolving healthier communities.
    This needs to be done in consultation with each community so that housing and infrastructure is reflective of what the people want and how they want programs delivered.
    Throwing numbers and dollar values around is again irrelevant unless you can demonstrate how those numbers are derived against evidence.
    How many of these projects are ear-marked to be delivered by Northern Territory based companies who have their head-offices here (and not simply a PO box)?
    As a major instrument for employment and income generation, tourism is a vital key to the on-going growth and development of the NT. As a tourism operator in Alice Springs for 12 years and a member of the Tourism Central Australia Executive for four years, I fully understand the importance of this sector on the economy. There are markets to be strengthened and newer ones to explore.
    The successes of government marketing programs needs to be viewed through the lens of the strength or otherwise of the Australian dollar. People’s travel is guided by their hip-pocket. The lower Australian dollar (currently now up to about 76c against the US$) was attractive to international visitors as their travel money went further here. Domestic travellers were similarly attracted to travelling within Australia as their travel money held its level of currency across the nation.
    I’m acutely aware of your insistence on fossil-fuel focused energy, Adam, in lieu of embracing the technology of renewable energy options. It’s a short-sighted approach that relies on exhaustible fuels and very dubious extraction processes instead of supporting the research and development of renewables.
    Solar, geo-thermal, wind and tidal technologies are improving all the time. Just look at where the industry has evolved to over the past decade. We have to focus forward, embrace the possibilities, grow the NT forward with confidence and involve the people in the process.
    The incessant politicking of argument, claim and counter-claim by political parties is so dreary, boring and counterproductive that the general community is tired of it.
    The power of social media has changed forever how and where people become informed.
    If we want to grow this wonderful Territory, we must do it together in harmony with each other not taking cheap shots at each other and bullying people into submission.
    Phil Walcott
    Independent Candidate for Braitling

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  7. Posted July 18, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Re housing: At a LGANT meeting in around 2008, then Minister for Central Australia and Local Government Rob Knight put the price of catching up with Indigenous housing at $5.5b.
    This is why the $750m housing money subsequently allocated didn’t succeed – it was only enough to cover administration when you think about it.
    I made note of this as he spoke and regularly brought this up at LGANT meetings and during the NT Intervention period.
    Eight years later and Giles offers less than $2b over 8 years – it’s not enough and you know it, Mr Giles.
    The numbers are huge but still not enough to address a fundamental long standing issue.
    The NT cannot afford to fund the catch up.
    What happened to the hub towns plan? What happened to supporting homelands? What happened to creating local industries on homelands so people can work and earn on their home country?
    Offering a small portion of the required funds for housing catch-up is just setting us up for another NT failure.

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