Giles vows to tackle road and port issues

New NT Chief Minister sees export infrastructure as a major investment target

March 25, 2013

Export-related road freight will gain a boost in the Northern Territory, new Chief Minister Adam Giles has pledged.

Giles, who retains the transport portfolio after taking the leadership earlier this month, says he is committed to aiding the cattle industry and tackling port costs.

"I've been working as the Transport Minister since I've been in government to make sure we have increased investment, particularly around roads and bridges," Giles told a meeting of the NT Cattlemen’s Association, told ABC radio.

"I've been fighting the national transport reforms to ensure we don't impinge industry and put animal welfare at risk."

Giles puts much store on a change of government federally.

"We've got Tony Abbott talking about the new era of northern Australia and his proposals for development, and I think we'll go hand-in-hand in really developing the north and that's when you'll see opportunities around things like improved port infrastructure," he says.

Before taking over the top job, Giles pledged to back national road reform, except for aspects of fatigue management.

"There are transport operators who turn up to work and they have to spend an hour or two, loading cattle or preparing for tourists to get on their bus, or getting their trucks ready before they drive on the road," he said on February 28.

"Currently that's considered as work time.

"So our position on that is that we won't be implementing the fatigue management or demerit points because we know it will have significant negative impacts on industry."

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