North Australia Digest – 15/10/12

Australian Financial Review
The federal government has placed boosting the quality of the education and training system at the top of the “Asian Century” white paper, due to be released at the end of the month. Business demand for labour market reform is ranked further down the list of policy priorities aimed at boosting Australia’s international competitiveness.
Macmahon Holdings chief executive Ross Carroll anticipates an increase in the stability of gold compared to other resources will be met by greater foreign investment from China and India.
GVK chairman Sanjay Reddy says confidence in Australia’s regulatory system has increased with the approval of a $6 billion Alpha mine, a joint venture between India’s GVK and Hancock Coal.
Opposition leader Tony Abbott is likely to discuss the future of Australia’s live cattle exports when he meets with Indonesian President today.
BHP Billiton is set to report decreased exports from its Queensland coking coal division in the September quarter, down 10 per cent from the June quarter, due to weaker demand.
The Australian
The Chief executive of the Australian Network of Environmental Defender’s Offices helped draft a document that planned to “disrupt and delay key projects and infrastructure” of Australian coal exports. No link.
Martu elders in Western Australia’s north signed a deal with Cameco last week to support the development of a uranium mine on land owned by indigenous people. The deal will see more jobs, training and business opportunities for the Martu, as well as housing and food benefits in the remote area.
Julia Gillard’s visit to India has the potential to consolidate on the recovering economic and strategic partnership between the two nations.
Tony Abbott says Australia’s future ties with Indonesia have potentially greater impact than other relationships; we should not assume that “distant prospects are always the most glittering”.
The West Australian
The West Australian also reports on Julia Gillard’s first prime ministerial visit to India this week to further develop a mutual interest in keeping Asia prosperous as China rises. India, our fourth biggest export market, is still recovering from a decade of tensions and bad publicity with Australia. No Link.
Toro Energy’s proposed uranium mine continues to be met with protest by anti-uranium and green groups as the site at Wiluna awaits Federal approval. The mine must also satisfy other State Government conditions, including support from the Department of Mines and Petroleum, before uranium export can begin. No Link.
The Australian Greens have requested the federal government to reassess its decision to allow uranium exports to India, as they believe a nuclear accident there is inevitable.
The Courier Mail
Mining services group Logicamms says major companies are planning to recruit temporary overseas workers to service major projects in the north of Western Australia as the cost of Australian labour increases.