As the commitments made in the Northern Australia Whitepaper start to roll out, the Whitepaper Implementation Oversight Committee met in Darwin today.
Committee members Senator Ian Macdonald and Natasha Griggs MP, the member for Solomon, attended a lunch of the Northern Territory farmers promoting Northern agriculture.
The luncheon is a precursor to the Northern Australia Food Futures being held in Darwin this week.
Senator Macdonald said the commitments about the development of the North had been made by the Federal Coalition Government but it was the Oversight Committee’s job to ensure these commitments were delivered on time and in full.
“There is a lot happening around Australia and some of the southern states are in economic difficulties, focusing government attention on those areas,” Senator Macdonald said.
“But it is important that the gains made in Northern Australia over the last decade are consolidated and continue to happen.
Mrs Griggs said she saw a good future for agriculture in the North, with plenty of land, good rainfall and proximity to the burgeoning Asian markets.
“Both agriculture and aquaculture are important areas for the North and I see a big future,” Mrs Griggs said.
This year the Government has announced the Office of Northern Australia situated in Darwin with the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility being located in Cairns and the headquarters for the CRC for Northern Development.to be announced shortly.
In addition to that, money allocated to roads is starting to roll out, the Dams feasibility money will be announced shortly and big advances are being made in tropical health and medicine through Charles Darwin University and James Cook University.
“It is a positive time to be in the North and both Natasha Griggs and I are delighted to be part of this very exciting future,” Senator Macdonald said.