Se­cu­rity boost for visit

Count­down to his­toric Dar­win trip by Ja­panese PM

NT News - - NEWS - GARY SHIP­WAY

SE­CU­RITY in Dar­win will be beefed up next week dur­ing the his­toric visit by Ja­panese leader Shinzo Abe and Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son.

The two will be in Dar­win for a first gas pro­duc­tion cel­e­bra­tion for the $50 bil­lion In­pex project be­fore both fly to Port Moresby for the APEC meet­ing of re­gional lead­ers.

It will be the first visit by a Ja­panese leader to Dar­win and some 75 years af­ter Ja­pan’s im­pe­rial forces bombed Dar­win.

It is un­der­stood ad­vance se­cu­rity of­fi­cers have al­ready been scop­ing out Dar­win, the venues where func­tions will be held and the routes the lead­ers will be trav­el­ling.

A large en­tourage of na­tional and in­ter­na­tional me­dia and of­fi­cials will also be in Dar­win for the In­pex event. With the $54 bil­lion Ichthys project now com­plete, In­pex chief ex­ec­u­tive Takayuki Ueda said the com­pany was now “very in­ter­ested” in ex­ploit­ing the Ter­ri­tory’s on­shore gas re­serves.

Next week’s In­pex pro­gram in­cludes an of­fi­cial open­ing and in­spec­tion of the Ichthys LNG on­shore pro­cess­ing plant and the sign­ing of a sig­nif­i­cant agree­ment be­tween In­pex and the Lar­rakia Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple. The agree­ment is es­ti­mated to pro­vide a pack­age of ben­e­fits to Lar­rakia peo­ple for 40 years to come.

The Fri­day of­fi­cial open­ing will be fol­lowed by a Ichthys LNG Project VIP cel­e­bra­tion din­ner event at the Dar­win Con­ven­tion Cen­tre.

Ja­pan’s Prime Min­is­ter Abe and Aus­tralian Prime Min­is­ter Mor­ri­son are ex­pected to make short speeches.

It is also hoped Mr Mor­ri­son will use the visit to an­nounce the long-awaited $100 mil­lion ci­ties deal and whether or not his Coali­tion Gov­ern­ment will pro­vide fund­ing to help with the Jabiru master­plan and the rein­vig­o­ra­tion of Kakadu Na­tional Park. The NT News has been run­ning a cam­paign to save Jabiru and the town is hop­ing the PM is lis­ten­ing to their pleas for help.

Mr Mor­ri­son will also ad­dress the Dar­win busi­ness com­mu­nity at a Fri­day Cham­ber of Com­merce NT lunch.

Chief Min­is­ter Michael Gun­ner is up­beat about the visit.

“This is an in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant visit from one of our most sig­nif­i­cant re­gional neigh­bours,” he said.

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