Min­is­ter’s eyes opened to re­gion

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Pe­ter de Krui­jff

■ New Min­is­ter for North­ern Aus­tralia Josh Fry­den­berg stopped over in the Pil­bara dur­ing a week­long initiation trip to the State last week.

But he was mum on top­ics like defence and mi­gra­tion agree­ments for WA.

When asked if the defence pres­ence in the North West would be ad­dressed in the long-awaited Defence White Pa­per, Mr Fry­den­berg, who had just vis­ited some of the coun­try’s key ex­port fa­cil­i­ties such as Rio Tinto’s Dampier Port and on­shore gas pro­cess­ing fa­cil­i­ties on the Bur­rup Penin­sula, de­ferred to the new Defence Min­is­ter, Marise Payne.

He also had noth­ing to add on the progress of the es­tab­lish­ment of a Des­ig­nated Area Mi­gra­tion Agree­ment for the Pil­bara, which the Gov­ern­ment said it would pur­sue in its White Pa­per on North­ern Aus­tralia De­vel­op­ment.

A DAMA has been tri­alled in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory since late last year.

Mr Fry­den­berg did say he would dis­cuss with col­leagues the prospects of de­vel­op­ing the Tanami Road, which con­nects Halls Creek in the Kim­ber­ley to Alice Springs and is only partly bi­tu­minised.

Last month, the WA and NT Gov­ern­ments pro­posed a $680 mil­lion up­grade of the road to which they would con­trib­ute a com­bined $140 mil­lion with the in­ten­tion the Com­mon­wealth would pick up the other $540 mil­lion.

The pro­posed project would be com­pleted in stages over 10 years.

The Tanami was one of seven pri­or­ity road projects iden­ti­fied in the North­ern Aus­tralia White Pa­per, but it’s com­pet­ing with the other six for a share of $600 mil­lion that’s been set aside.

When he was As­sis­tant Trea­surer, Mr Fry­den­berg an­nounced a North­ern Aus­tralia In­sur­ance Pre­mi­ums Task­force, which he said was on track. The fi­nal re­port is due to be de­liv­ered to the Gov­ern­ment this month.

Mr Fry­den­berg said he wanted to come to the Pil­bara early in his term and there were sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­ni­ties in the re­gion.

“There’s a lot more I want to do with Melissa (Price) in her elec­torate and I’ll be do­ing that on sub­se­quent vis­its,” he said.

“To see the highly skilled, mo­ti­vated, en­tre­pre­neur­ial peo­ple work­ing in the Pil­bara has given me a lot of con­fi­dence for the fu­ture prospects of this re­gion.”

To see the highly skilled, mo­ti­vated, en­tre­pre­neur­ial peo­ple work­ing in the Pil­bara has given me a lot of con­fi­dence for the fu­ture.

Josh Fry­den­berg

Pic­ture: Pe­ter de Krui­jff

Melissa Price and Josh Fry­den­berg with Yara Pil­bara chief ex­ec­u­tive Mark Lo­quan at the un­der-con­struc­tion TAN Project.

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