Article – Developing the north key COAG priority for Chief

13 December 2013
Clare Rawlinson
ABC News

Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles

The Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles said developing Northern Australia will be one of his key priorities at COAG talks today.
Chief Minister Giles is in Canberra for Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s first Council of Australian Governments’ meeting since winning the election.
The federal and Northern Territory governments have come under fire for not offering enough support to the Top End town of Nhulunbuy, following Rio Tinto’s decision to close its alumina refinery near the town.
Mr Giles said economic development is a priority at COAG, but he did not mentioned Nhulunbuy specifically.
“We’ll continue to push our agenda on development of Northern Australia and ensuring that any infrastructure resources that are put forward in Australia also go to the non productive elements and developing regional economies and supporting Northern Australia,” Mr Giles said.
He said he will also be use the talks to lobby for greater de-regulation of environmental approvals.
His comments come as questions are being asked about whether the suspended Ranger uranium mine – the site of a recent acid and uranium leak – is regulated enough.
Mr Giles said he wants the Northern Territory to have more control over environmental approvals.
“We’ll be looking for a greater role in deregulation around the business environment, particularly around environmental approvals being outsourced to states and Territories, and we look forward to that in the Northern Territory.”
Courtesy of ABC News