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Friday, 30 October 1970

Mr CALDER (Northern Territory) - In supporting this motion I say how pleased I am that the Government has decided to spend this sum of $ 19.03m on the development of the Port of Darwin. Ever since I have been in this place I have highlighted the congestion on the wharves in Darwin and urged very strongly, even to the extent of going with Government committees to view the situation in the Port of Darwin, that something should be done. Over the last 5 years inward cargo has developed so that it is now 400,000 tons a year. Outwards cargo, including the iron ore from the Fort Hill iron ore wharf, has reached over 1 million tons a year. With the new general cargo facility west of Stokes Hill and the retention of the existing sheds and berths at Stokes Hill and Fort Hill and the implementation of the LASH ship and little ship facility at Frances Bay, apart from the bulk handling port being shifted to East Arm, there should be little or no confusion in the years to come. So in commending the Government on the introduction of these plans I would say that Darwin is headed towards being a most important port and could be said to be developing as the hub of this Indonesian archipelago area. It is now up to all concerned to get this work done and I would urge them to see that nothing in the way of stoppages or go-slow tactics is put in the way of this work so that when this port does come to fruition Darwin will take its rightful place as one of the most important maritime centres in this area.

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