CORMANN: SCO-MO IS COM­ING AND WE LOVE THE NT

NT News - - FRONT PAGE - GARY SHIPWAY and HAY­LEY SORENSEN

FINANCE Min­is­ter Mathias Cormann has hinted much needed cash could be on its way to the Ter­ri­tory for ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture projects.

In Dar­win yes­ter­day for meet­ings with Chief Min­is­ter Michael Gun­ner, Se­na­tor Cormann told the NT News he was “very con­fi­dent” the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment would have more to say on key projects shortly.

This month’s Fed­eral Bud­get was a ma­jor dis­ap­point­ment for the Ter­ri­tory, with lit­tle in the way of new in­fra­struc­ture spend­ing an­nounced.

Mr Cormann said the feds were keen to ham­mer out a city deal with the NT — an in­vest­ment the Ter­ri­tory Gov­ern­ment has been court­ing for months.

But Mr Cormann said the Ter­ri­tory was be­ing held back by NT La­bor’s on­shore gas mora­to­rium.

“Aus­tralia needs to have ex­plo­ration, ad­di­tional pro­duc­tion, we need to in­crease the sup­ply of gas into the do­mes­tic mar­ket so that we can have a re­li­able af­ford­able sup­ply of en­ergy,” he said.

“One of the eco­nomic chal­lenges for the coun­try as a whole and one of op­por­tu­ni­ties for the NT in that con­text is that we do have a do­mes­tic gas short­age.”

Mr Cormann’s visit came on a day Turn­bull min­is­ters were talk­ing up their com­mit­ment to re­gional Aus­tralia.

The Prime Min­is­ter was in Rock­hamp­ton to spruik the Fed­eral Bud­get while Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter un­veiled a new 13-year mas­ter­plan for the bush.

Un­der the Re­gions 2030: Un­lock­ing Op­por­tu­nity, the gov­ern­ment will fo­cus on five key pil­lars: eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, in­fra­struc­ture, health, education and com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

It fol­lows more than a year of cam­paign­ing by News Corp’s re­gional daily news­pa­pers, in­clud­ing the NT News, to de­liver a Fair Go to the re­gions. Now, the gov­ern­ment has ac­knowl­edged that the tra­di­tional “one size fits all” ap­proach to re­gional de­vel­op­ment had failed.

In­stead, it pro­poses to de­ploy more than $9 bil­lion worth of fund­ing an­nounced in last week’s Fed­eral Bud­get more strate­gi­cally.

Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Fiona Nash said it was about hav­ing a vi­sion for what re­gional com­mu­ni­ties should look like in 20 years.

“It’s about mak­ing sure we cre­ate both ca­reers and jobs in our com­mu­ni­ties so our chil­dren and grand­chil­dren can lead ful­fill­ing lives,” she said.

Pic­ture: JUSTIN KENNEDY

Fed­eral Finance Min­is­ter Mathias Cormann at the NT News of­fice yes­ter­day

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