Article – NT chief minister rejects Rudd plan

Neda Vanovac
August 15
THE Chief Minister of the Northern Territory has slammed Kevin Rudd’s proposal for setting up a special taxation zone in the area, dismissing it as a last-ditch effort to win votes.
Under Mr Rudd’s plan, which is subject to talks with the NT government and business chiefs, NT-based companies would enjoy a lower corporate tax rate, simplified investment rules and streamlined regulation.
But in Alice Springs on Thursday, Chief Minister Adam Giles said Mr Rudd and Labor had never spoken to him about any plans for developing northern Australia.
“What Kevin Rudd announced today was little more than a thought bubble in the dying days of a bad Labor government,” Mr Giles told reporters.
“What we all want to see is the development of northern Australia but we want to see a comprehensive policy approach to how he will do that.” Mr Giles said the announcement was an attempt to win votes from a marginal seat in Darwin, and did not consider the rest of the Territory.
“The Northern Territory government is focused on developing the NT and taking a leadership role in developing northern Australia,” he said.
“Whoever is in government federally, we will work with, but they’ll dovetail into the back of what the NT’s going to do and we won’t be dictated to by Canberra.” Earlier on Thursday in Darwin, the prime minister said that if re-elected, he would establish a new zone with a company tax rate one-third lower than that of the rest of the country, beginning next year and fully operational by 2018.
Mr Giles said the coalition’s plan for the development of northern Australia, announced earlier this year, was coherent and well-crafted and covered a range of initiatives such as infrastructure and agricultural strategies.
“Six months ago, the assistant treasurer David Bradbury described Tony Abbott’s plan for northern Australia as ‘wacky’ so I’m not sure how he’d describe Kevin Rudd’s plan,” he said
Courtesy of Couriermail