Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision (ANDEV) has welcomed today’s announcement of a Coalition policy on Northern Australian Development. “How wonderful it was this morning to wake to hear Tony Abbott’s Coalition launch a visionary policy for Northern Australia. This is what leadership is about. North Australia can be a key driving force of the Australian economy in coming decades and it is so refreshing that a major party has finally recognised this immense potential,” Imants Kins, Co-Chair of ANDEV said.
Tony Abbott’s pledge to fast-track development recognises the immediate need to act if Australia is to prosper on the back of major economic and population growth occurring in Asia.
“Asia’s demand for our resources has already been a major contributor to Australia’s prosperity in recent years to the benefit of all Australians, both in the North and the South,” Mr Kins said.
“The North’s competitive advantages are not limited to resources. Given it’s proximity to Asia, there is huge potential for North Australia to grow into a centre for services, medicine, tourism, education and agriculture, taking advantage of rising demand from a growing Asian middle class,” Mr Kins said.
“To benefit from these incredible opportunities we need innovative policies that leverage our strengths. It is fantastic that the Coalition is looking to reduce the burdensome tax and regulatory environment that has been acting as a disincentive to businesses and individuals looking to move to the North,” Mr Kins said.
“All Australians will benefit from Northern Development. Many major resource projects have begun to move offshore as operating costs in Australia are too high. We need policies that make Australia an attractive destination for investment and job creation,” Mr Kins said.
Asia’s rapid economic growth will lead to the expansion of their middle class from 500 million to three billion by 2030, by which time Asian consumers will account for over 40 per cent of global middle class consumption.
“The CSIRO has found that North Australia has between 5 and 17 million hectares of arable land, while some areas of Northern Australia receive over double the annual rainfall of the Murray-Darling Basin. The North can become a food bowl meeting the growing needs of Asia’s middle class for high quality agricultural produce,” Mr Kins said.
“This plan takes into consideration the huge costs and difficulties many people living in the North face every day and people in our major southern centres just don’t understand,” Mr Kins said.
Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision (ANDEV), has been calling for the establishment of a Northern Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with lower taxes and a reduced regulatory burden. For more information visit www.andev-project.org.