New Vision for a competitive North | New poll says 63% support Northern population growth

A Newspoll commissioned by the North Australia Project found 63 per cent of Australians believe increasing the population of North Australia would be a good thing. You can find more details here.

The idea of creating a foodbowl in North Australia has recieved a new wave of attention this fortnight after it was revealed federal trade and competitiveness minister Dr Craig Emerson commissioned a study into the possibility last May:

• The federal government is hoping to attract billions in Chinese investment to open up land for farming in northern Australia in order to help feed China’s 1.3 billion people.
• Craig Emerson confirmed to the Australian Financial Review that Australia and China are co-operating on a joint study into the possibility of a Northern food bowl.
• The Chinese side of the study is being led by Commerce Minister Chen Deming.

The report is expected in a couple of months; we’ll be keeping you posted.

The issue of labour mobility between the states is becoming a big issue, as the West Australian revealed only 37 unemployed people have taken up a $9,000 federal grant to move to WA in the last 18 months. BHP Billiton Chief Executive Marius Kloppers has said east-coast Australians need to be more willing to move interstate for work.

On green-tape, the federal opposition has said Queensland would be the first state to be given greater control over environmental approvals under its “one-stop-shop” policy.

Environmentalist groups have seized on a UNESCO report into the Great Barrier Reef to call for a halt to resources development along the Queensland coast.

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