House debates

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Statements by Members

Solomon Electorate: Air Travel

1:48 pm

Photo of Luke GoslingLuke Gosling (Solomon, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Up in the Top End, in Darwin, we've launched the #fairfaresnt campaign. As those in the gallery might know if they've been up to Darwin, it's not the cheapest place to fly to. We're appealing to the airlines, to the airport and to all the stakeholders involved to think about their social corporate responsibility in not gouging us and giving us a fair go at Having said that, it's almost the dry season, the water is beautiful and the barra are going to be running strong so come up, but just book a little bit in advance!

I quote some feedback from one of Darwin's biggest business people, Grahame Webb, who said, 'We have the potential to be a gateway, but the lack of direct air connections between Darwin and Asia is a major constraint on development. We have no hope of getting tourists from South-East Asia and Japan to Darwin if it takes them 18 hours to get here.' What he means is that if they need to go via the south to get up to Darwin it's going to be a lot harder for us to build our tourism industry.

I take the federal government at their word that they actually do want to develop the north. The fact that they're not going to sign up to a City Deal until next year says that perhaps that it's a bit of rhetoric and they're not really fair dinkum about it. But I appeal to them: if we are going to develop the north and if we are going to invest in our northern capital then we need to see some action from those opposite.