Transcript – Interview With Adam Giles, NT Chief Minister

18 April 2016
Daryl Manzie
Territory FM

DARYL MANZIE: Time to say good morning to Chief Minister Adam Giles. Good morning, Chief Minister.

ADAM GILES: Good morning Daryl, how are you?

DARYL MANZIE: Pretty good. Now you’ve had a pretty busy time in planes, out of planes, running round, back in planes, back to the Territory and all around the place. And this morning you’re, you’ve been at a forum where it’s designed to deal with investment opportunities in the Territories. So, boy it’s been a busy few days for you.

ADAM GILES: Well, now it’s been a busy few weeks as we’ve gone from COAG in Canberra, home to the Territory, then to a gas conference in Perth, to an investment forum in China and back to the Territory. But this morning we had an opportunity of talking with a range of different investors who are looking at bringing money – Territory money, Australian money, money from overseas into some major projects in the Territory which is, from my point of view, really important because that’s what drives our economy, that’s what builds jobs. And we know that for a long period of time we’ve only really had one major project or one industry operating at one particular point in time, whether that’s a gas project or whether that’s a cattle project.

We’re working pretty hard to diversify our economy so that we can get investment in a range of different areas and the forum that we’ve had this morning has seen some fairly large wealthy companies and corporations from all around the place come to the Territory and seek to identify what some of the investment opportunities are, a lot looking at farming, some looking at mining, some looking at tourism to see where they can put there money and from my point of view, help grow jobs for Territorians.

DARYL MANZIE: Well it’s all about investment money. I mean, obviously governments don’t have the money – both the Territory Government and Federal Government – for the size of some of the projects that are potentially available for development here in the Territory so you need that private investment and I think-

ADAM GILES: [Speaks over] Well my job is to be a facilitator, to make sure the government builds infrastructure such as roads and rail and bridges and ports and to get the logistics system right and then you attract the investment to the Territory. Whether it’s Territory investment or investment from outside the Territory. So the private sector drives the  business and drives the job growth and that’s what we haven’t seen in the Territory for a long time and that’s starting to happen now. And we’re seeing some major projects wanting to get up and running and that’s a good thing. So we’ve got companies such as Mitsubishi Worldwide who are in the Territory looking at how they can invest in farming and agriculture, companies such as Mitsui who are working on the Tiwi Islands. And a range of other investment – investors who are looking at bring money to the Territory and that’s a good thing. So we’re seeing industry such as tourism rebounding, we’re seeing the current cyclical downturn in most parts of the mining industry – not all parts, but we’re seeing investors looking to get into that on the bottom end of the market, that’s a good thing. We’ve got investments in horticulture, in agriculture, in the gas sector, so they’re all good things and they’ll continue to drive growth in jobs. But the best thing about it is, it’s not just one industry cause if we put all our eggs in one basket and there’s a downturn Territorians lose their jobs and we don’t want that happening. So diversifying and seeking out that investment is what’s going to keep us going into the future.

DARYL MANZIE: Well I think it’s also interesting that you’ve got Gina Rinehart, I guess Australia’s richest – one of the world’s richest women – and she really sees the potential of North Australia, she’s very well, I guess, across all the issues there. She’s Australia’s biggest individual tax payer as well and also her companies spend a lot of money on tax for the rest of Australia. Good to see her involved in looking at these sorts of investments and talking to people about them.

ADAM GILES: Well I first met Gina through an organisation called ANDEV, Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision, looking at that North Australia approach and how to get more people and more investment and more jobs into Northern Australia. And I’ve known Gina since then and she’s now come on board – some time ago – as an ambassador for the Northern Territory. So I’ve invited Gina to come to the Territory to help launch this investment forum today and at her own expense she’s come up here and helped us out with that and given a speech this morning and spoken about investing in the Northern Territory. It’s great to have ambassadors like that who are telling other big investors to invest in the Northern Territory. And I don’t think, I often don’t think that people really understand what some of these big investors do for Australia. For example, Gina, we’ve heard big development in Western Australia, puts her own money on the line, takes her own risk and at the height of that construction employed up to fifty thousand Australians in that job. To me, that’s an amazing feat and we need more Australians to do that. To take the risk, to take the plunge and employ Australians because we all want jobs and if people aren’t prepared to take the risk the jobs want come. So we should be applauding people to have a crack, not everybody’s successful but if you’re having a go you should be applauded and respected and if you’re employing Australians you should be congratulated.

DARYL MANZIE:  Indeed, indeed.

Courtesy of Territory FM
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