New Vision for a competitive North | CEOs say Australia too risky to invest

Queensland is set to become the jobs capital of Australia, according to this article in the Courier Mail.  Of the expected 220,000 opportunities over the next five years, the majority are likely to be in mining, construction and health care.  Chamber of Commerce Queensland president David Goodwin said there will need to be a major “skills training shake up” if the jobs are to be filled by people with the right qualifications.

Australia’s declining status as an attractive destination for private investment was highlighted once again on the front page of yesterday’s Australian Financial Review.  The CEO Forum Group surveyed 111 firms worldwide.  41 per cent of those surveyed declared that they would be less likely to invest in Australia now, compared with 12 or 18 months ago.  Respondents identified carbon pricing and industrial relations as the two highest priorities for reform.

The Age reported yesterday that BHP’s plans to extend the outer harbour at Port Hedland are now all but over.  Also in the Pilbara, Aquila Resources has decided to delay spending on its projects there, in light of higher costs and approval delays.

The Northern Territory election is due to be held next Saturday 25 August.  This article explains that Territory issues are the main focus and federal leaders are rarely to be seen during the election campaign.  Current projections suggest that it will be a close result.

Meanwhile, 500 cattle are stranded in Darwin as the effects of the live export ban and the impact of Indonesian quotas continue to damage the industry.

If you’d like more information on our vision for a new North, please contact John Shipp at or on 0429 706 661.

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As always, please feel free to share your vision for a new North by emailing me at