Australia's north good for PNG

THE FEDERAL government’s push to develop Northern Australia has been welcomed by business and industry groups, saying it recognises the economic potential of communities in the north.
Australia's north good for PNG Australia's north good for PNG Australia's north good for PNG Australia's north good for PNG Australia's north good for PNG

The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) CEO Simon Bennison said the government's policy was a "good starting point" and the economic flow-on benefits would be felt by all Australians.

Land access, lowering business costs, and infrastructure funding are some of the issues the White Paper hopes to address, but Bennison was concerned that some of the initiatives would did not go far enough.

"The government's plan to ensure all existing native title claims are settled as soon as possible would be a terrific outcome for indigenous Australians and industry," he said.

"This would provide much needed certainty and clarity on claims, some of which have been ongoing for decades.

"However AMEC has concerns that some of the recommendations in the report may not simplify land access arrangements or reduce native title costs and delays.

He also said road funding was "badly needed" and hoped the $A5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility would "unlock" the north's potential.

This view is shared with the Cairns Chamber of Commerce and regional advocacy body Advance Cairns, which welcomed the government's commitment to fund key projects like the Nullinga Dam feasibility project.

The flow-on effects could also benefit Papua New Guinea as increased economic activity in Australia's north may bolster business relations and investment between both countries and the larger Asia Pacific region.

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