Article – Rudd's northern plan 'discriminatory'

AAP
15 August 2013
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s plan to set up a special economic zone in the Northern Territory is “discriminatory” and could harm adjoining states, Western Australia’s Premier Colin Barnett says.
Mr Rudd announced on Thursday that a re-elected Labor government would set up a special economic zone, where NT-based companies would enjoy a lower corporate tax rate, simplified investment rules and streamlined regulation.
The plan was immediately described as “catch-up politics” by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
In parliament, Mr Barnett went further by saying Mr Rudd should roll out the plan in WA’s Kimberley region and in north Queensland.
“Why is the Kimberley excluded, and why is northern Queensland excluded?” Mr Barnett said.
“An advantage has been given to next door in Darwin, and has profound implications for Western Australia. This is discriminatory and it could have severely adverse affects on the development of the Kimberley.
“What I would say to Kevin Rudd, and Tony Abbott, is that developing the north is great … but apply it right across northern Australia.” The plan would also expand the Ord River Irrigation Scheme to open up 14,000 hectares of land for agriculture.
Mr Rudd is due to arrive in Perth late on Thursday, and is expected to campaign around the city on Friday.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s plan to set up a special economic zone in the Northern Territory is
“discriminatory” and could harm adjoining states, Western Australia’s Premier Colin Barnett says.
Mr Rudd announced on Thursday that a re-elected Labor government would set up a special economic
zone, where NT-based companies would enjoy a lower corporate tax rate, simplified investment rules and
streamlined regulation.
The plan was immediately described as “catch-up politics” by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
In parliament, Mr Barnett went further by saying Mr Rudd should roll out the plan in WA’s Kimberley
region and in north Queensland.
“Why is the Kimberley excluded, and why is northern Queensland excluded?” Mr Barnett said.
“An advantage has been given to next door in Darwin, and has profound implications for Western
Australia. This is discriminatory and it could have severely adverse affects on the development of the
Kimberley.
“What I would say to Kevin Rudd, and Tony Abbott, is that developing the north is great … but apply it
right across northern Australia.”
The plan would also expand the Ord River Irrigation Scheme to open up 14,000 hectares of land for
agriculture.
Mr Rudd is due to arrive in Perth late on Thursday, and is expected to campaign around the city on
Friday.
Courtesy of AAP

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