Article – Northern Australia inquiry tipped to duplicate Federal Government discussion paper

17 June 2014
David Chen
ABC News
A Queensland Senator says there has been confusion over the Federal Government’s moves to encourage debate on the development of northern Australia.
The Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia is set to hand down its findings to Parliament in September.
It will consider the more than 280 submissions, along with the Federal Government’s green paper on developing the region.
The joint select committee has tabled its interim report in Parliament.
In the report, the committee says it has just received the Federal Government’s blueprint into developing the region, which will highlight policy areas it can add value to.
Labor Senator Jan McLucas sits on the committee.
She says it is likely the findings will duplicate those of the discussion paper.
“Given the joint parliamentary committee is not a committee of the Government, it’s a committee of the Parliament, it is going to be a bit tricky to work through the next few months,” she said.
“In the end, it’s the Government who’s got to make the decision about what goes in their white paper and what will be funded out of it, so let’s say it’s very unusual.”
However, she says the two processes will give the community an ample opportunity to provide their opinions.
She has urged community groups to make submissions to ensure their views are heard.
The committee will resume hearings in Brisbane on Friday.
Courtesy of ABC News