Article – Government to take another look at northern dams

by 31 March 2014

28 March 2014 Anna Vidot ABC Rural

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce will lead a ministerial taskforce, investigating options for new and bigger dams.

Also sitting on the taskforce are Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss, Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Parliamentary Secretary Simon Birmingham, and the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure, Jamie Briggs.

It’s the latest in a number of taskforces to investigate the potential for significant dam construction and irrigation development in northern [...]

Article – Abe Names Special Strategic Zones in Bid to Boost Japan’s Allure

by 31 March 2014

28 March 2014 Keiko Ujikane and Maiko Takahashi Bloomberg News

Japan announced the locations of special strategic zones in which looser regulations will be tested as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s drive to attract investment and boost the nation’s competitiveness.

Abe today named the capital region around Tokyo as a zone for international business and the Kansai area surrounding Osaka as one for medical innovation. Niigata in northern Japan and Yabu in central Japan [...]

Article – Should the Northern Territory be tax free?

by 31 March 2014

28 March 2014 Cameron Wilson Radio National

A proposal to create a tax free haven in the Northern Territory has been criticised by economists who argue it will do little to attract investment to the north of the country.

Next week a Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia is starting public hearings to examine the arguments for developing a region which many see as the nation’s last frontier.

One group that has already made a [...]

Article – Foreign investment built Australia: Robb

by 31 March 2014

29 March 2014 Andrew Robb The Land

This is an edited version of Minister for Trade and Investment ANDREW ROBB’s speech to the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong on Friday.

SINCE the First Fleet, Australia has been a country unashamedly reliant on foreign investment. It has helped build our infrastructure, grow our businesses and provide the quality of life and enviable standards of living Australians enjoy.

As a big and vastly populated [...]

Article – $2b private proposal to build one of Australia’s biggest irrigation schemes in northern Queensland

by 31 March 2014

27 March 2014 Rachel Carbonell and Chris Uhlmann ABC News

There are plans in Queensland to build one of the country’s biggest irrigation schemes, as debate over whether northern Australia can become the nation’s next great food bowl ramps up.

Integrated Food and Energy Developments (IFED) wants to build two dams and siphon 555,000 megalitres of water per year from Queensland’s Gilbert River catchment to irrigate a huge sugar cane plantation.

The $2 billion proposal [...]

Article – Annabelle Coppin: Tapping the potential of the Pilbara

by 31 March 2014

27 March 2014 Melissa Aisthorpe North Queensland Register

AMID all of the hand-wringing in agriculture today over its many challenges, Annabelle Coppin prefers to see those potential hurdles as opportunities.

Annabelle, a fifth generation West Australian pastoralist, is station manager and business partner in her family’s East Pilbara cattle operation, the 430,000-hectare Yarrie Station.

Its stunning, vast landscape means her private fixed wing and commercial rotary licence are among the essential tools needed to do [...]

Article – Central QLD to host Abbott’s northern Australia inquiry

by 31 March 2014

27 March 2014 Gladstone Observer

CENTRAL Queensland will play host to the Abbott government’s northern Australia inquiry next week, as the parliamentary committee leaves on a six-week hearing tour.

The committee, led by Queensland Government MP Warren Entsch, will head to Mackay for a series of meetings on its first hearings day on Monday.

Among those expected to appear were the Mackay Chamber of Commerce, AgForce, North Queensland Bulk Ports, Mackay Tourism and local canegrowers.

[...]

Article – Roy Hill investment to turn the fortunes of Australian economy

by 27 March 2014

25 March 2014 Jasmina Utkovska Australian Manufacturing

19 COMMERCIAL banks and five export credit agencies are contributing more than $US7 billion to Hancock Prospecting’s $10 billion Roy Hill project, which is expected to create significant economic and employment benefits to the entire Australian resource industry, employing 3,600 people during construction and 2,000 once operation commences in 2015.

According to the statement issued by the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) Executive Steve Knott, Hancock Prospecting [...]

Article – Competitors gain ground in food fight

by 27 March 2014

26 March 2014 Damon Kitney The Australian

VISY executive chairman Anthony Pratt has warned that Australia has less than five years to capitalise on the opportunity to become a food bowl for Asia, as the nation continues to lose ground to more aggressive competitors.

In a speech to be delivered in Sydney today at The Australian’s second Global Food Forum, supported by packaging giant Visy, Mr Pratt also steps up a push for tax breaks [...]

Article – Soil strategy targets research

by 27 March 2014

26 March 2014 North Queensland Register

Coinciding with the strategy release, Minister Joyce has also announced the reappointment of former Governor–General, Major General Michael Jeffery, as the Advocate for Soil Health in 2014.

The strategy - Securing Australia’s soil for profitable industries and healthy landscapes - is designed to ensure soils research will become more targeted and collaborative and that research will better meet the needs of farmers, according to Minister Joyce.

Some 150 different organisations from [...]