New Vision for a competitive North | Irish eye Pilbara

The Australian Hotels Association will hold expos in Ireland in October in a bid to recruit 5000 workers to Western Australia to assist with severe hospitality staff shortages in the state.  Employers are desperate to find staff, with about 10,000 hospitality jobs advertised in WA each year.  Irish emigration is at its highest since the Famine, with 3000 people leaving Ireland each month.

Also in WA, farmers are hopeful that the federal Liberal Party will support the Gillard government’s move to abolish Wheat Exports Australia (WEA).  According to the West Australian, this would free up access to ports and cut a 22 cents a tonne levy which the government imposes on growers to fund the agency.  Western Australia is the nation’s largest wheat exporter.

BHP Billiton’s decision last week to abandon the $30 billion expansion of Olympic Dam in South Australia has resulted in the loss of 140 jobs.  South Australian Premier Jay Wetherill said that local businesses may go under as a result of the decision.  BHP Billiton also announced last week that the outer harbour expansion at Port Hedland would not proceed.

On Saturday, the CLP won the Northern Territory election, with a six per cent swing against the incumbent Labor government.  The Chief Minister-elect, Terry Mills, made a point of addressing those “remote from Darwin” in his victory speech.

Earlier this month, the IPA and the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation launched Project Western Australia.  It is a comprehensive reform agenda aimed at making WA more free and prosperous. You can read more about it here.

Developing Northern Australia Summit – Special Offer

ANDEV and the IPA are co-hosting Informa’s inaugural Developing Northern Australia Summit in Cairns on 20 – 21 November 2012.  Voices of the North are entitled to a Special Offer of 15% off the standard and early bird rates.

If you’re not already a Voice of the North, joining is free and very easy – simply follow this link.

ANDEV members and Voices of the North please use the code “ANDEV” when registering, and IPA members please use the code “IPA” to claim your discount.

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

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