New Vision for a competitive North | Mining investment at new low

In a a boost for the north west of Western Australia, plans are ebing made to attract more tourism to the region.  The West Australian reported that high profile music and film festivals and an annual air show in Port Hedland are part of the proposed venture.

A Newport Consulting report, released today, reveals that $200 billion of resource projects in Australia are in doubt.  Newport surveyed 55 mining leaders from large and small companies and only a quarter of respondents said they planned to invest in major projects this year, down from more than half last year.  Newport’s David Hand said “there was an enormous amount of pessimism in the market.”  Reasons for this lack of investment include escalating costs, volatile commodity prices, political risk and uncertainty over industrial relations.

This news comes after last week’s Deloitte Access Economics report which suggested that the mining investment boom has only two years to run.  Director of the North Australia Project, John Shipp, had this to say in reponse.

In a development which further strengthens this argument, The Australian reported over the weekend that BHP Billiton may not go ahead with a proposed expansion of its Olympic Dam mine in South Australia.

In the Australian Financial Review, on 19 July, Chief Executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Peter Anderson, highlighted the fact that Australia’s competitive advantages are being eroded by government policy, such as the carbon tax.  He recounted the opinion of the director-general of the Shanghai Municipal Government Financial Services Office, who told him that Australia was not a desirable investment destination because our labour costs and regulations are too high.

Northern Australia’s potential to be a food bowl for Asia has again been in the spotlight after Tony Abbott mentioned it in his speech to AustCham in China.  The federal government’s green paper on food has now entered the consultation process.

In Queensland, despite having extensive gas reserves in their own state, locals may be forced to pay some of the highest gas prices in the country because most of the state’s supply is shipped overseas.

Meanwhile, house prices in Darwin continue to soar, as the NT News reported.  Darwin prices are now second only to Sydney.

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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