De­fence sup­port

Pilbara News - - Opinion - Peter Long Peter Long is the Mayor of the City of Kar­ratha.

Last week, I at­tended the third De­vel­op­ing North­ern Aus­tralia Con­fer­ence, which was held in Cairns.

These con­fer­ences have come out of Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tives to de­velop that part of Aus­tralia, north of the Tropic of Capri­corn, and fea­ture a range of talks pro­vid­ing new ideas, re­search re­sults and ex­pe­ri­ences gained by groups try­ing new things.

De­mog­ra­pher Bernard Salt stole the first ses­sion with a dra­matic pre­sen­ta­tion in­di­cat­ing how Kar­ratha needs to be sup­ported to grow its pop­u­la­tion and how the North West in gen­eral needs a ma­jor in­crease in de­fence sup­port.

We have, in to­day’s money, in the or­der of half a tril­lion dol­lars in vi­tal in­dus­trial in­fras­truc­ture across this part of Aus­tralia — and my con­stant mantra is we have only 30 per­ma­nent de­fence force per­son­nel up here de­fend­ing that. By com­par­i­son, there are 8000 each in Dar­win and Townsville.

The im­por­tance of ex­pe­ri­enced-based tourism in a world where multi­na­tional brands are ubiq­ui­tous was also em­pha­sised.

The value of wa­ter­front to both com­mu­nity and tourists was also high­lighted: wa­ter is uni­ver­sally ap­pre­ci­ated and pro­vid­ing a unique wa­ter­front ex­pe­ri­ence will al­ways be successful.

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