The long awaited White Paper on Developing Northern Australia has been released.
Northern Australia can grasp its full potential and become an economic powerhouse within our great country.
Our north’s future will come from its people, its ingenuity, its diversity, and its proximity to Asia. Covering 40 per cent of Australia’s land mass, our north has the resources, the connections across the Tropics, and the land, skills and institutions that the Indo-Pacific region needs; a region that has the savings and the markets to drive northern prosperity.
This White Paper is an essential part of our plan to build a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia. We can take advantage of our strengths and our natural advantages.
We will fix the roads and telecommunications, build the dams and deliver the certainty that landholders and water users need.
We will drive down the costs of operating in the north for business; making it a more attractive place to invest and work. By making the right regulations and infrastructure investments, we can encourage jobs and tackle the costs of living far from major cities.
Governments alone cannot develop Northern Australia, they can only set the right environment for businesses to profitably invest and communities to flourish. The north will only truly achieve its potential with the participation of all the people who live there, including Indigenous Australians.
We acknowledge the contribution of everyone who made submissions and participated in this White Paper; particularly the Hon. Warren Entsch MP who chairs the Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia, and the Hon. Shane Stone and his Northern Australia Advisory Group. For many years Senator the Hon. Ian Macdonald has been a driving force for development in northern Australia.
We want this White Paper to be the foundation on which successive Commonwealth governments can continue this important work over coming decades.
The Hon Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia
The Hon Warren Truss MP, Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development
The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment