Article – Developing agriculture in northern Australia looks set for some Labor flavour

2 February 2015
Matt Brann
ABC Rural
The Northern Territory’s Minister for Primary Industry hopes progress will continue to be made for agriculture in northern Australia, despite the possible change of government in Queensland.
Labor has now secured 43 seats, two short of the 45 needed to govern Queensland in the majority.
Willem Westra van Holthe said a lot has been achieved for agriculture while there has been Liberal National agriculture ministers in both Western Australia (Ken Baston/Terry Redman), the NT (Willem Westra van Holthe) and Queensland (John McVeigh).

“I really do hope that we’ll be able to bring that new minister, if it is a new minister, along the journey, along the ride we’ve been on for the last few years and further the agriculture interests across the northern parts of Australia,” Mr Westra van Holthe said.
“Whoever it might be, we’ll work together as best as we possibly can to further the interests of the people working on the land in the northern parts of Australia.”
Meanwhile an independent NT politician says the Territory Government should take notice of how Queensland voters reacted to the Newman-led Government’s plans for leasing and selling state-owned assets.
Legislation is currently before the Northern Territory Parliament that would allow the Government to negotiate a long term lease for the publically-owned Darwin Port.
Member for Nelson, Gerry Wood, said Territorians needed more time to make up their minds on whether to lease the port to a private operator.
“If you lease it off to a monopoly company, what control are you going to have over the prices, because obviously that company will want to recover its lease payments to the government?” he said.
“Is that going to affect the price cattlemen will pay to put cattle over the port?”
Chief Minister Adam Giles said the issue will be debated in Parliament and he looks forward to sitting down with Mr Wood to discuss the port lease.
Darwin port
Courtesy of ABC Rural