Article – Let's keep our place in the sun – Kylie Stevenson, The Northern Territory News

THIS week Tony Abbott officially announced his plan to develop the north if he becomes prime minister.
While the concept may have its good points, there’s also a lot of concern in the community about how our infrastructure will cope.
Already rents and the general cost of living are high.
We Top Enders are laid-back and generally accepting of newcomers.
The constant trickle of southerners heading north in search of sunshine and barramundi are warmly welcomed by most — as long as they fit in with our iced coffee-drinking, mankiniwearing ways.
But thousands of big city public servants permanently pushing their way into paradise all at once might be stretching the friendship. You wouldn’t be able to throw a thong without hitting some jerk complaining about the humidity. In the dry season.
To try to win us northerners over, Mr Abbott’s sales pitch was: “No longer will northern Australia be seen as the last frontier — it is, in fact, the next frontier.”
But, here’s the thing: We don’t want to be next. We like our place as last. Being last doesn’t necessarily make you a loser.
The Top End is the last to be told what to do — the last to ban fireworks, to introduce demerit points, to be bothered with speed limits.
We’re the last people to catch a cold or to consider wearing closed-in shoes, or even a shirt for that matter. Or pants.
The last stop on the way to Asia. The last to introduce exorbitant parking fees. The last to leave our foreshores as development-free areas for all to use.
The last to think a strip show at midday is weird. The last (and perhaps first) to think a Bintang singlet is the height of fashion.
It also seems we’re the last place Tony Abbott would consider visiting. So committed is he to this idea of developing the north that he headed to Townsville to announce the plan, which I’ve heard is barely north of Tasmania.
Sometimes being last can be a bad thing — we’re the last place in Australia to receive fresh produce and will probably be the last to become a state.
But at the end of the day, it’s true, nice guys finish last — and the Territory is the last nice guy left in Australia.
So unless you plan to play nice, Mr Abbott, perhaps you should leave us alone.

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