CORMANN: SCO-MO IS COMING AND WE LOVE THE NT
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.
Federal Finance Minister Mathias Cormann at the NT News office yesterday