6 March 2015
PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has assured a long-awaited report into unlocking the economic potential of Northern Australia will be released by midyear.
Mr Abbott told parliament yesterday Trade Minister Andrew Robb was finalising the white paper on Northern Australia.
“The focus is on building priority roads, developing water resources, attracting more investment and reducing red tape,” Mr Abbott said of the document.
Northern Australia was seen as the “last frontier”, but was in fact the “next frontier” for economic development.
Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch, the chairman of the Northern Australia Taskforce, says the final report was not released last month as intended as it needed to be signed off by Queensland’s new Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
He said last week the report was expected to be released ahead of the Federal Budget.
Cairns based Labor Senator Jan McLucas was told by department officials in a Senate Estimate Committee hearing the document would be released by midyear.
She said Mr Entsch was “simply making things up”.“How he expects the people of North Queensland to have confidence in his ability to deliver is, quite frankly, beyond me,’’ she said.
Courtesy of the Cairns Post
6 March 2015