The message to Canberra from the Northern Territory is clear – Prime Minister Scott Morrison must stop neglecting the Top End.
That’s the message from First Nations communities and representatives of the tourism, agriculture, business and cattle industries from Darwin to Katherine.
The Government’s Northern Australia Agenda, led by Minister Matt Canavan, has been a failure.
People across the north remain keen to see the agenda move forward, but are frustrated by the Government’s failure to follow through.
For instance, the once exciting prospect of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF), has released so little money in its four years that most communities fail to see any real impact.
The Northern Territory is an increasingly important economic and strategic centre for Australia, given its proximity to Asia.
The region is full of potential for growth, yet the Morrison Government is nowhere to be seen.
Since the Federal Election, the Prime Minister has not stepped foot in the Northern Territory. Nor have most of his ministry. We have not seen the Deputy Prime Minister, Treasurer, Agriculture Minister, Tourism Minister, Defence Minister or even his Minister for Northern Australia make the trip.
In contrast, in the same period, the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Opposition have visited, in addition to several other Shadow Ministers.
There are many things the Morrison Government could do, to get behind the Northern Territory:
But the Morrison Government isn’t doing any of this.
It’s time for this third term government to get moving on Northern Australia. They’ve been in power for six years, but the north has little to show for it.
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.