PM lays out two-decade plan to develop Australia’s north

Posted February 14th, 2019 by admin and filed in 杭州夜生活
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Mr Abbott has released his 20 year plan for the region.


It includes more than one billion dollars of funding to develop infrastructure and roads, and encourage investment in the region’s economy from domestic and international organisations and businesses.

The government says it’s aiming to develop the sparsely populated region north of the Tropic of Capricorn into an economic powerhouse for the nation.

Tony Abbott says while only one million of Australia’s 23 million people currently live above the Tropic of Capricorn the region is a dynamic one with great potential.

The Prime Minister has committed $1.2 billion dollars towards the project.

He says the money will be directed towards better infrastructure, more efficient and effective land use and making the north more attractive for people to live and work.

“The challenge is to build on the strengths of our great north, not just for the benefit of people living in northern Australia but for the benefit of every single Australian – because if the north does well, our country does well. The north is already the source of some 50 per cent of our goods exports, so it is an extraordinarily dynamic part of our country already. We want it to be more dynamic in the future for the benefit of everyone including, obviously, the vast bulk of our population in the south.”

Trade Minister Andrew Robb says the possibilities for foreign investment in the north are endless.

He says the growing wealthy middle class in Asia means there are now huge markets for Australian agriculture, aquaculture, renewable energy, tropical medicine and tourism.

Mr Robb says Australia will also hold a major forum in November in Darwin, aimed at attracting billions of dollars from overseas investors.

And he says a new Cooperative Research Centre on developing the north will help strengthen relationships with the Asia and Indo-Pacific regions.

“Now we are on the cusp of an economic revolution going on around us. In China, in Vietnam, in Indonesia. Indonesia will be in the top four or five countries economically in the world within 15 to 20 years. And of course, with India. India is repeating China experience in my view. So the north’s time has come. There is a market for what we can produce and it’s at a level which will justify and investment, the huge investments. They will get a return on the dollar invested.”

As part of the plan, overseas working holiday-makers will have their visas extended for one year if they find work in the north.

The three-year multiple entry visa will be extended to ten years in a bid to promote more tourists, especially from China.

And designated parts of the north will be able to allow in more skilled migrants from South-East Asia.

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce says developing the north will give Australia the potential to have a greater relationship with the massive populations in Asia.

“The reality is so much of the north of Australia is closer to the almost 300 million people in Indonesia and the great populations north than they are to Canberra. And this gives us the capacity to connect into that. We always look in this nation for the capacity for greater productivity outcomes, and anecdotally you can see examples of this which, transposed across the whole area, has a huge benefit to us.”

But federal Labor MP Gary Gray says details of the massive proposed spending on this project are too vague.

Mr Gray has told the ABC it’s important that development in the north doesn’t come at the expense of projects underway in other parts of the country.

“Because this is such a very large – a seriously large – amount of money and because it has potential implications for existing capital works programs in Queensland, the Northern Territory and in Western Australia, we think there should be a lot of careful work done to consider how it can properly dovetail seamlessly with priorities that are under consideration in Brisbane, in Darwin and in Perth.”

Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss will be required to provide the parliament with an annual report on how the plan is progressing.

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