Focus on infrastructure in Northern Australia to facilitate opportunities: the Hon. Warren Entsch

“Infrastructure has been significantly neglected in Northern Australia over an extensive period of time,” Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia Chair and Federal Member for Leichhardt, the Hon. Warren Entsch, told a CEDA forum in Perth.

“We need to focus on the infrastructure to facilitate the opportunities.

“One of the big issues we identified (in the Joint Select Committee’s report, Pivot North: Inquiry into the Development of Northern Australia) is that there’s not the connectivity of legislation and regulation across the north.

“The recommendations we’ve put up and the issues we’ve identified in relation to cross border challenges is just a thumbnail print of what is there. But already there has been discussions in the various governments to merge those regulations so that they do work right across the northern area.

 “There has been a massive lack of investment in the north for many, many decades and we’re not going to fix it overnight, but we have got to start the process.”

Also speaking at the CEDA event, APPEA Western Region Chief Operating Officer, Stedman Ellis, said, “There does need to be a focus on improving the services in towns in the north.

“If you are going to attract and retain people in the north, then the quality of services in those towns, the quality of infrastructure needs to be progressively built.”

Liveringa Station Beef General Manager, Brett Blanchett, said, “We’re predominately an export-driven nation so infrastructure in the north needs to be around ports.”