New Vision for a competitive North | A focus on the Northern Territory

I was excited to be in Brisbane last week to be on a panel talking about developing Australia’s North. You can hear the full program here. I made the point that “around Darwin and its hinterland we could have a Special Economic Zone to attract people so that you pay less tax…these are discussion we have to have. At the moment Northern Australia is being throttled by Government.”

Using Special Economic Zones to encourage Northern Development was explored in this important piece by Adam CreightonIn response, prominent NT businessman Jerry Ren said the North’s potential was “unlimited“, and that Special Economic Zones would “not only help the region” but would “boost the local economy and eventually change the idea of isolation.”

ANDEV Chairman Mrs Rinehart and Co-Chair Mr Imants Kins shared their vision for the development of Northern Australia at the historic Darwin launch of Northern Australia and then some last month. In his speech to launch the book, former NT Chief Minister Terry Mills said the work done by ANDEV and the IPA was key to providing the support his government needed to drive growth in the region.

ANDEV Chairman Mrs Gina Rinehart has been presented with the prestigious Institute of Public Affairs Free Enterprise Leader Award at the IPA’s 70th Anniversary Dinner earlier this month. Speaking at the same event Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott reaffirmed his intention to introduce policies which encourage the development of Northern Australia if he were to win the upcoming election.

Rupert Murdoch was in Darwin earlier this month to visit the office of the Northern Territory News and for a meeting with NT Chief Minster Adam Giles. While there he came out in support of Northern Development. “I really sense great excitement — this whole area of northern Australia is facing tremendous expansion and investment, and it’s important that does go forward and that it be done mainly by private enterprise.”

Chief Minister Adam Giles announced the establishment of an Economic Development Cabinet Sub-Committee earlier this month. The Chief Minister will head up the Sub-Committee, which will be supported by an expert panel including former NT Chief Minister Paul Henderson. ANDEV put out this media release supporting the announcement.

Woodside Petroleum has announced that it will not go ahead with the planned $40 billion Browse Basin liquefied natural gas project at James Price Point. High labour costs contributed to the decision to shelve the project, the federal opposition said.