Northern-based LNP Senator and Chair of the Northern Australia Whitepaper Implementation Oversight Committee Ian Macdonald has paid tribute to all the Ministers and departments involved in what he describes as ‘a wonderful start’ to the development of Northern Australia.
Senator Macdonald, who congratulated the Minister for Northern Australia Senator Matt Canavan, after he tabled a progress report on the White Paper, said the Minister’s role was not an easy one.
“I applaud the enthusiasm Minister Canavan has brought to the portfolio, and for the determination he has demonstrated in bringing to fruition commitments in the Northern Australia Whitepaper,” Senator Macdonald said.
As Chair of an oversight committee of northern Members and Senators who ‘keep an eye’ on what is proposed in the White Paper and what action happens, Senator Macdonald said of the 102 commitments made, 21 have been delivered, while 51 are in progress or pending, and 30 are yet to be action.
“That’s a pretty good start after just one year.”
“With only five per cent of the Australia population, Northern Australia produces around 50 per cent of the country’s export earnings – it has always punched above it’s weight when it comes to economic earnings.
But the further development of Northern Australia is not just about Northern Australians, its about all Australians,” Senator Macdonald said.
“It’s about ensuring the potential of the North is captured, and turned into benefit for every single Australian.
Senator Macdonald acknowledged the efforts of former Trade Minister Andrew Robb, who was instrumental in the formulation of the White Paper, and the previous Minister for Northern Australia, Josh Frydenberg, along with the 16 ministers and their departments who all have a responsibility in delivering the commitments in the White Paper, Senator Macdonald said.
“The White Paper is a 5, 10, 30 year project that will be a long time in its full implementation, but this White Paper is only the start of the further development of the north.”