Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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HomeIssue 18Roads, 457 visas, growth towns: Chamber of Commerce

Roads, 457 visas, growth towns: Chamber of Commerce

Better roads and more bridges, less red tape with 457 visas and opportunities in growth towns for private enterprise are on the national elections wish list of the local Chamber of Commerce.
Its executive officer, Kay Eade (pictured), says Canberra should better support and extend its Federal highways network so that existing businesses – mostly mines – are encouraged to expand or set up in The Centre.
She says road trains on the Tanami Highway, north-west of Alice Springs, for example, constantly sustain damage.
“A tyre costs $1000,” she says. “These costs are being passed on the end consumer or discourage companies from operating here.”
Ms Eade says red tape with 457 visas – allowing into the country foreign nationals with special skills – may not be a major obstacle in the populous states where unemployment is high.
“The Centre is far more reliant on these workers. Without them quite a few businesses would shut down or scale back,” she says.
“Politicians are making their decisions for the east coast. They need to listen to the regions.”
Ms Eade says the designated growth towns in the bush will never grow or become self sustaining without private enterprise becoming established there to offer employment and skills, and that will require security of tenure for land. She says this may well require a change to the Federal land rights act.


  1. The Chamber of Commerce could consider throwing its support behind curbing seven days per week take-away alcohol supply, increasing the price and connecting with other national reform groups like the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) as they lobby for volumetric taxation of alcohol and changes designed to alleviate the violence associated with abuse of this drug and its irresponsible promotion by the industry to young and vulnerable groups in our society.
    This would make Alice Springs a much better place in which to live and visit. Blaming the Feds is one thing, but getting behind their initiatives for alcohol moderation in Alice seems a sensible path for the Chamber of Commerce.

  2. If eight years of Labor stimulus spending had not be squandered on everything else but infrastructure vital to the country the Tanami road would have been sealed.
    Just more evidence of incompetence and stupidity by a socialist government. We have more mining about to start in the centre area. The stupidity of that crossing at The Gap that has acted in reverse. It has not be established to provide safety to uses on foot.
    It has been established to install not a black spot but a death trap. And the need to contact one person to lift the centre rails for wide loads to get through. Wide loads that require access on roads to get mine equipment where it needs to be.
    The money wasted on that crossing could have been put to Territory govt to assist with the cost to getting land at Kilgariff on the market to proved homes.

  3. For workers and we don’t want FIFO. Workers for the mines. We want families here living and boosting our economy.

  4. Janet sounds more and more socialistic by the day. The election campaign must be making her light headed. First she wants government to take more responsibility for building the infrastructure needed by miners and housing developers, then she wants social engineering by government to get workers to live in certain places (e.g. Alice Springs), rather than the methods (FIFO) favoured by the mining industry. Not bad ideas, but they don’t sound like teensy weensy government to me. Welcome to the left Janet!
    PS: However I can’t say that I agree with her advice that we should do away with all safety devices to assist people in wheelchairs trying to cross the Stuart Highway south of the Gap.

  5. Janet, much of the mining boom bonanza was given back in tax cuts, primarily by John Howard’s government.
    It was the prime method of sharing the increased income across Australia.
    Some was also given away as middle class welfare, which will be hard to claw back. We could have done much for infrastructure if we had chosen a different balance … a bit less private consumption spending and more investment by governments … but that would be ‘socialism’ in your eyes and therefore dreadful.
    Howard used tax cuts enabled by mining boom revenues to lure voters at elections, and this has contributed substantially to structural problems in the federal budget, only now revealed as the boom slows somewhat.
    Still, we are the lucky country, the problems are manageable with good governance. We should be grateful that our economy has been managed better over several decades than countries like Argentina and France. We could have, and should have done, better, but the electoral cycle and ideology like yours gets in the way.

  6. I have to agree with the thrust of Russell Guy’s comments here. The Chamber of Commerce would be doing a good thing if it threw its considerable weight behind a national volumetric taxation scheme for all alcohol products and also supported the banning of alcohol advertisements in any sporting venue and/or on all sport uniforms.
    Not so long ago tobacco was all over our sporting events, and when a ban was first suggested, the cry that sporting teams would go to the wall for lack of money went up.
    This proved to be a furphy, and so will a similar cry regarding alcohol bans prove to be once this no-brainer issue is tackled.
    Kids revere sport stars. Dress those stars up holding a ciggie or green can, and guess what kids will turn to as soon as they can?
    That the alcohol industry is allowed to contribute to political parties seems to be part of our system. The onus is then on the parties to not accept that money.
    Again think of tobacco. Can you imagine a political party accepting funds from any tobacco company?

  7. Just came across this interesting article online “Farmer claims mine water monitoring is flawed”.
    Whom do we believe, the small business man farmer with limited resources or the corporate giants with vast resources?
    If we assume that the monitoring branch (or subcontractors) of the mining companies had been adequately staffed and resourced and there was systematic research and baseline studies at the onset of the exploration and mining process.
    Then thorough monitoring during the life of the mine should be producing reasonable accurate figures.
    The lowering of groundwater levels in our prime and most suitable farming country is going to have major repercussions for the future of farming and food production in this country.
    Whom do we believe and how can the public be confident of what we hear, read or see in the media is true? A tyre might cost $1000 or more, but the lack of water and/or contaminated food producing land will have more of a long term and profound impact on the nation.

  8. The Coalition has a plan to build a strong prosperous Northern Australia (see:, which, if it is elected will probably at least benefit the Top End and may create some slippage into Central Australia. The press release talks about increasing tourism etc.
    Even if the focus is further north than Central Australia, we should position ourselves to add value wherever possible and in so doing, help Central Australian businesses.

  9. Janet whilst I support your views on the crossing located at the Heavitree Gap, yes it may have been funded by a Labor government but ultimately this initiative was handed to the department within the Northern Territory government to develop so I would consider this to be more of a failed initiative on the Territory Government’s side rather than the Labor Party.
    Secondly Janet socialism refers to the goal of a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community. This control may be either direct—exercised through popular collectives such as workers’ councils—or indirect—exercised on behalf of the people by the state. As an economic system, socialism is often characterised by collective ownership of the means of production, Socialism is not good or bad, it’s just an socioeconomic theory / idea.
    I am interested to see what type of system or theory you would suggest Janet?
    I find it somewhat amusing that you feel that in eight years all that the Labor government has done nothing and has been negative to the our nation, I would suggest you take a minute to stop and look at the major reforms that Labor has introduced since coming to power infrastructure and education two vital things to the country.

  10. @ Lou please enlighten us with what infrastructure has been done in Australia. And what changes to education. If you are referring to the current education reforms, sorry they are not planned till 2015. SAo please enlighten us. And your eloquent description of socialist is explained even better in plain English. Bulging government departments jealous of private money and enterprise building.


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