New Vision for a competitive North | North Australia central in Asian Century

North Australia’s important role in the Asian Century has been recognised in the Gillard government’s White Paper released on Sunday. The paper calls for Darwin to become a “gateway to Asia.”  Northern Territory Chief Minister Terry Mills welcomed the calls, but said investment in Darwin’s port was necessary.

ANDEV/IPA North Australia project director John Shipp said in this press release that the Paper represented a “missed opportunity.” The North Australia project also produced a briefing document highlighting the White Paper’s impact on the North.

Commonwealth Securities’ quarterly analysis of the states and territories released last week found the Northern Territory is catching up with Western Australia as the nation’s strongest economy.

The Australian Agricultural Company received final planning approval for the construction of a North Australian abattoir earlier this month. Civil works are set to start at Livingstone Valley, around 50 kilometres south of Darwin.The company’s call for Federal Government support of the facility, which will employ around 260 people, was rejected by Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean. An abattoir in North West Queensland also looks to be going ahead. A transition “from live export to chilled meat or carcass exports” has been supported by West Australian Premier Colin Barnett.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was in Indonesia earlier this month visiting president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to talk about, among other things, Australia’s live cattle trade with our near Northern neighbour. On returning, Opposition spokesman for Agriculture and Food Security John Cobb said Australia’s active involvement in the live export market had been “a force for good” in Indonesia’s animal welfare.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard was also in Asia earlier this month, her trip to India resulted in both nations agreeing to start negotiations paving the way for uranium sales to India. Following the announcement, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman is looking to overturn his state’s long held banon uranium mining. National’s Senator Barnaby Joyce welcomed the move, but questioned why, if it was appropriate for export, uranium is not being used for power production in Australia.

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

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