Tempo of Northern Development Gaining Pace

The Chair of the Government’s Northern Australia Development White Paper Implementation Oversight Committee has today updated the Cairns Chamber of Commerce on the progress of Northern development.

 Committee Chair Northern Senator Ian Macdonald has told the Cairns Chamber that the tempo of work towards northern development continues to grow.

 “The Office of Northern Australia (ONA) is being augmented and re-located to the North.

 “It will have a new Director, and a new Direction, that will be based on the feedback of the people of Northern Australia.

 “The ONA will take a pivotal role in co-ordinating between the commonwealth, state and local governments on major projects that benefit us all,” Senator Macdonald said.

 Senator Macdonald also detailed exciting developments in infrastructure, trade and investment, and agriculture.

 “The $5 billion concessional loan program guidelines are currently before Federal Cabinet and will be announced very soon, giving major projects the ability to apply for substantial funding grants.

 “Also, the Trade Minister Andrew Robb will be holding a major investment forum in Darwin from November 8-10. This forum will showcase the potential of northern development projects to private investors from all over the world.

 “And finally, in early October this year cattlemen from across the north will be invited to attend a planning forum in Rockhampton to give their input into the delivery of the government’s $100m beef roads program.

 Senator Macdonald said that all of these developments show that the government is not “resting on its laurels” when it comes to Northern development. “And this is just the beginning,” he said.

 “There are many more announcements to come as the tempo of development increases.

 Senator Macdonald told the Cairns Chamber that as one of the principal population centres in the north, their region will be a significant beneficiary of northern development.

 “The Implementation process has begun and I and my colleagues on the Oversight Committee will continue to hold the government true to its word on Northern development,” Senator Macdonald said.

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