New Vision for a competitive North – IFANN Update 19/5/11

Exclusive Institute of Public Affairs research has demonstrated that the majority of Australians do not think that Canberra understands the needs of Northern Australian families and businesses.

In a Galaxy Poll conducted in May 2011, over 1000 Australians were asked: In your opinion, do decision makers in Canberra understand the needs of families and businesses living in Northern Australia? 60 per cent believe that Canberra is out of touch with Northern Australia. Only 16 per cent of Australians thought the decision makers in Canberra were in touch with needs of Northern Australians.

Other key findings include:

  • 67 per cent of residents of regional Australia thought that Canberra didn’t understand Northern Australian needs;
  • 71 per cent of Queenslanders thought that Canberra didn’t understand Northern Australian needs; and
  • 65 per cent of Western Australians felt thought that Canberra didn’t understand Northern Australian needs.

Of the residents of regional Western Australia and Queensland, those most likely to live in Northern Australia, 74 per cent were dissatisfied with federal government decision makers. By comparison, 56 per cent of people from the Souther States thought Canberra didn’t understand Northern Australia.

The Galaxy poll results indicate that Australians do not believe that a big, centralised government in Canberra is best placed to make decisions about regions that are geographically, economically and socially distant.

Hugh Tobin, Director of the North Australia Project, said this today about the results:

‘The government should put in place a Special Economic Zone in Northern Australia. A low tax, low regulation zone would drive continued long term investment in the Australian resource industry.

‘In establishing an economic zone the government would be recognising that people are best placed to make decisions about their own lives and that government interference is holding the North back.’

Full details of the results are available here.

As always please feel free to tell me your vision for a new North at Alternatively call and speak to me or anyone in the North Australia Project team on (03) 9600 4744.