Article – Joe Hockey tells Northern Territory not to feel short-changed by federal funding of $600 million to roads

12 June 2014
ABC News
The Northern Territory should not feel short-changed on infrastructure spending because its economy is the envy of the rest of the country, the Federal Treasurer has said.
Joe Hockey visited a building site in the Darwin CBD today and defended the budget’s allocation of $600 million, about 1 per cent of total infrastructure spending, to roads in the Territory.
He said the Territory’s unemployment rate was much lower than the rest of the country’s and it did not need the infrastructure spending of other regions.
“If you think the Northern Territory is doing it tough, a 3.3 per cent unemployment rate is a damn good result,” Mr Hockey said.
“And we should only spend money where it’s going to improve facilities.”
Mr Hockey said documents like the Green Paper on Northern Australia would inform future spending.
He also said the Federal Government would devote more money to accommodating US Marines.
Over the next four years, about 2,500 US Marines are expected to rotate through the NT every six months.
About 1,200 US Marines were expected to rotate through the NT for six months.
“We are going to spend quite a bit of money in providing facilities for the American marine base here in the Territory,” Mr Hockey said.
“So those sorts of initiatives together with private sector investment … helps to build a momentum in the economy that you should be proud of.”
Courtesy of ABC News