6 March 2014
Chief Minister Adam Giles has called for private investment in infrastructure projects to help the economic development of northern Australia.
Addressing a national economic conference in Darwin last night, he spoke of future growth opportunities in the Northern Territory.
He identified resources, tourism, agriculture, food production and defence as key growth markets.
He said there was a lack of infrastructure to support those sectors, with the Territory “about 150 years” behind the rest of the nation.
Mr Giles called for more investment in marine infrastructure at the Darwin Port.
“Darwin’s biggest challenge is to create economies of scale, to reduce the cost of container freight over our port,” he said.
He said unlocking the Territory’s economic potential will help Australia’s future development and its connection to Asia.
“What happens if we develop the Northern Territory and northern Australia, is the country gets an efficient and vital link to Asia that has not been there before,” he said.
“We unlock these vital resources and we fix the south-eastern gas crisis.
“The north becomes populated and prosperous, and an important component in the growth of the Australian economy.”
Mr Giles said strengthening the Territory economy and creating more jobs was also central to reducing reliance on welfare.
He said business opportunities and jobs generated by growth would help eliminate poverty, Indigenous disadvantage and welfare reliance.
“The problems faced by Aboriginal Australia have never been fixed by welfare,” he said.
“In fact, welfare is the main part of the problem.
“Income support, or ‘sit-down money’ as it is sometimes called, is not going to inspire anyone to become an active part of society.
“The development of the north needs to include all of our citizens.”
Courtesy of ABC News
6 March 2014