11 June 2014
The chairman of a group advising the Federal Government on ways to develop northern Australia says he believes political leaders will take their ideas seriously.
Former Northern Territory chief minister Shane Stone will lead the 11-person advisory panel, which will provide advice to state and federal governments on ways to develop the north.
The Government has set out six policy areas it wants to act on, including improving water use and boosting investment in infrastructure.
Mr Stone says the panel will consider ways to encourage growth in northern Australia and not all of them will require big funding.
“Not all good ideas involve spending money, you can change policy, you can redefine the way certain policies operate north of the tropic of Capricorn,” he said.
Mr Stone says he is confident the groups’ ideas will be taken seriously.
“I wouldn’t be wasting my time taking on the task if I couldn’t have a conversation with the Primer Minister reflecting views of the advisory groups,” he said.
He says he believes infrastructure and migration will be critical to developing the region.
Meanwhile, the federal Member for Durack, Melissa Price, says she is confident new members of the advisory group will represent WA well.
The 11 new members of the Northern Australia Advisory Group were announced yesterday – four have a Western Australian background.
They include West Kimberley pastoralist Jack Burton, pearling pioneer Nicholas Paspaley, East Kimberley horticulturalist David Menzel and Indigenous leader Wayne Bergmann.
Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss yesterday also released the green paper on developing northern Australia, with six key focus areas.
That paper will be out for public comment until August.
Courtesy of ABC News
11 June 2014