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					                                                          Northern Territory News
                                                          26/06/2008
                                                          Page: 2
                                                          General News
                                                          Region: Darwin
                                                          Circulation: 20880
                                                          Type: Capital City Daily
                                                          Size: 191.37 sq.cms
                                                          MTWTFSS




       NT must
      get busy
      to meet
                 boom
       By MATT CUNNINGHAM
      IT WAS the warning issued
                                          to boom again, more than it
                                          has for a long tine," he said.     Our economy has                 He said it was also import-
                                                                                                            ant to increase workplace
      to Australia after World                 "It's happening at a time     started to boom                participation rates among in-
      War II, and now an expert           when we happen to           be
                                                                             again, more than it
                                                                                                            digenous Territorians.
                                          ageing so our workers are                                           "That's a long-term issue
      is sounding the same alarm          getting older and leaving          has for a long time 9          and it fundamentally comes
      to the Northern Territory           the workforce."                                                   down to education levels,
      - populate or perish.                 Among the non-indigenous       created if the Inpex gas plant   training levels and the cul-
        But unlike our post-war           population, the Territory has    comes to Darwin.                 ture of the employer as well."
      leaders, Professor Tony             the highest workforce partici-      The Northern Territory         Former Keating govern-
      Barnes' warning has nothing         pation rates in the country.     Government has already wel-      ment minister Gary Johns
      to do with fears of an Asian             "That's been saving us      coined more than 440 skilled     wrote in the Agenda journal
      invasion. The Charles Dar-          from a perish scenario," Prof    migrant workers under the        this week that Territory Ab-
      win University and NT               Barnes said.                     457 visa program this year.      origines should be encour-
      Treasury researcher said the                                           Prof Barnes said increased     aged to leave their remote
                                               But it also meant there     migration was crucial to cop-    communities and move
      Territory needed to increase        were few workers available
      its population by tens of thou-                                      ing with the jobs boom.          closer to towns to help them
                                          to fill new jobs as they be-       He said the Territory had to
      sands of people in the next         came available.                                                   join the mainstream work-
      10 years to cope with its                                            promote itself, as countries     force. But Prof Barnes said
      growing economy.                         There have been suggest-    around southeast Asia com-       the idea was simplistic.
                                          ions up to 5000 jobs could be    peted for skilled workers.
        "Our economy has started




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