NORTHERN AUSTRALIA WHITE PAPER
The Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development and the Minister for Trade and Investment launched the Northern Australia White Paper “Our North, Our Future: A vision for developing Northern Australia” on the 18th of June 2015.
The White Paper is a vision to unlock the potential and opportunities of the north. It focuses on building priority roads, development water resources, removing red tape, building a sustainable workforce and ensuring effective governance arrangements.
JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON NORTHERN AUSTRALIA
The Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia (JSCNA), Chaired by Member for Leichhardt, the Hon Warren Entsch, undertook an inquiry into the development of Northern Australia. Engagement with stakeholders across the nation informed the “Pivot North – Inquiry into the development of Northern Australia” report, tabled in Parliament in September 2014.
Their is a current inquiry into stimulating the Northern Australia Tourism Industry.
The JSCNA will inquire into and report on opportunities and methods for, and impediments and challenges to stimulating the tourism industry in Northern Australia including but not limited to:
- Domestic and international tourism comprising: recreational, environmental, cultural, educational, and industrial tourism;
- The role of peak bodies, local communities, and all levels of government in developing and promoting tourism opportunities nationally and internationally, including regulations and workforce issues that may inhibit tourism development; and
- Communication and transport infrastructure (particularly air, sea, road and rail transport and port infrastructure) which may facilitate and grow tourism.
The JSCNA’s previous Inquiry in aquaculture “Scaling Up: Inquiry into Opportunities for Expanding Aquaculture in Northern Australia” was completed in February 2016. The Inquiry into Opportunities for Expanding the Aquaculture Industry in Northern Australia built on issues previously raised with the Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia and allowed for a more in-depth approach to examining an industry which has the potential to significantly contribute to growing the economy of Northern Australia.
- Chair – Hon Warren Entsch, Leichhardt, Qld
- Deputy Chair – Hon Warren Snowdon MP, ALP, Lingiari, NT
- Senator Patrick Dodson, ALP, WA
- Ms Michelle Landry, MP, Capricornia, Qld
- Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald, Liberal Party, Qld
- Senator Malarndirri McArthy, ALP, NT
- Ms Cathy O’Toole, MP, ALP, Herbert Qld
- Ms Melissa Price, MP, Liberal Party, WA
- Senator Dean Smith, Liberal Party, WA
- Senator Larissa Waters, Greens, Qld
OFFICE OF NORTHERN AUSTRALIA
Office of Northern Australia – Delivering on the White Paper
The implementation of the Northern Australia White Paper is driven and coordinated by the Office of Northern Australia from its base in Darwin, with staff in Brisbane, Townsville, Perth and Canberra.
RDA FNQ&TS through the Northern RDA Alliance is collaborating with the Office of Northern Australia for effective delivery of priority initiatives from the White Paper.
Priority implementation areas under the White Paper cover:
The progress report on implementation of the Northern Australia White Paper is to be tabled in Parliament annually.
Darwin office (ONA Central Office): Level 1, Development House, 76 The Esplanade, Darwin NT 0800
Townsville office: 155 Hugh St, Currajong QLD 4812
Canberra office: Industry House, 10 Binara St, Canberra ACT 2600
Cairns office: Level 7, 46-48 Sheridan St, Cairns QLD 4870
NORTHERN AUSTRALIA INFRASTRUCTURE FACILITY
The Cairns based $5B Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility is seeking to provide concessional loans for catalytic infrastructure investment in the north.
COOPERATIVE RESEARCH CENTRE (CRC) FOR DEVELOPING NORTHERN AUSTRALIA
The CRC is a centerpiece of the investment under the Northern Australia White Paper with a $75m investment over 10 years with a focus on industry-led collaborations to initially on agriculture, food and tropical health. The CRC will be based in Townsville. The full list of Board Members and further information is available here.
The CRC for Developing Northern Australia Project Funding Round supports short term industry-led research collaborations to develop important new technologies, products and services which address industry problems in northern Australia in the areas of:
- tropical health and medicine, including models of care; and
- tropical and northern agriculture including animal and plant improvement and sustainability.
Up to $3 million over three years is available for each project with matched cash and/or in-kind contributions from project applicants. Funding can be used to support the costs of:
- student placements;
- capital items, such as equipment.
Funding Round dates:
Round 1 opens: 20 February 2017
Round 1 closes: 22 May 2017
Outcomes announced: June 2017
Funding from: July 2017
The funding round will be administered by AusIndustry within the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in accordance with the CRC Programme Guidelines.
ANNUAL STATEMENT ON NORTHERN AUSTRALIA WHITE PAPER
The Minister for Northern Australia, the Hon Matt Canavan outlined the key achievements in delivering on the Northern Australia White Paper initiatives in his Annual Statement.
Key progress has been made including through strategic roads investments, water feasibility study and infrastructure investments, small business tourism programme delivery, establishing the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), land tenure pilots and military exchange opportunities.
DEVELOPING NORTHERN AUSTRALIA CONFERENCE
The annual ‘Developing Northern Australia’ Conference was held in Darwin in June 2016. The 2017 Conference will be held in Cairns 19 – 20 June.
NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE PROGRAM – NORTHERN AUSTRALIA HUB
Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub research is delivering new knowledge, tools and partnerships, and focuses on:
- landscape-scale studies covering savanna, rainforest and aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity;
- land and water planning for urban, agricultural, and infrastructure development; and
- Indigenous land management including Indigenous Protected Areas.
The Hub research program is organised around a number of issues-driven, regional case studies. These are being selected to ensure coverage of a wide range of issues and to ensure that the Hub operates across contrasting land uses and land tenures. The selection of focus regions is also influenced by the Northern Australia White Paper.
There are currently four projects in north Queensland:
- Links between Gulf rivers and coastal productivity
- Environmental water needs for the Mitchell River
- Multiple benefits and knowledge systems of Indigenous land management programs
- Defining metrics of success for feral animal management in northern Australia
and three projects operating across northern Australia:
- Savanna carbon sequestration method
- Prioritising threatened species in north Australia
- Developing eDNA methods for tropical waters
ABC BIG IDEAS – WHAT SHOULD DEVELOPMENT IN NORTHERN AUSTRALIA LOOK LIKE?
An interesting and diverse discussion with Jann Crase, CEO, RDA FNQ&TS, Clare Martin, Chair NT Natural Resource Management Group and previous Chief Minister of the NT, Phil Rist, CEO Girrigun Aboriginal Corporation, Deputy Chair Northern Queensland Land Council and Nywaigi Indigenous leader, and Professor Stuart Bunn, Director, Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University.
Have a listen here.