NT welcomes Federal Government spending spree

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The NT’s largest business organisation have shown their support for the Federal Budget, calling it a “game changer” that will have an impact right across the Territory, with expectations it will deliver jobs and economic growth.

“The other thing was the realisation how important the north is to Australia. At long last they realise 80 per cent of our export goods come from the north and if Australia and if that is going to grow further then we need infrastructure.” Master Builders NT executive director David Malone.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the budget showed the Federal Government had bought into Labor’s plan for economic growth and Opposition Leader said the Coalition was cleaning up Labor’s mess.

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from NT News 30.3.22

THE NT’s business community has rallied behind the Federal Budget they say will deliver jobs and economic growth.

And the NT’s largest business organisation says the Federal Budget is a “game changer” that will have an impact right across the Territory.

Chamber of Commerce acting chief executive Nicole Walsh said the budget would have lasting benefits for the nation’s least-populous jurisdiction.

“It’s about liveability in the Northern Territory and creating a vibrant economy that will attract people here and that will deliver a further boost to jobs and growth,” Ms Walsh said. “There’s money promised in Darwin on wharf funding which will bring a whole-of-economy response, there’s money promised on roads in Central Australia, there’s money for Indigenous rangers, the cut to the fuel excise is a welcome cost of living measure and the investment into small business is also extremely welcome.

“We’re also very supportive of the logistics hubs in Tennant Creek, Katherine and Alice Springs because of the important part they play in the export process.”

Master Builders NT executive director David Malone said the government’s 2022-23 fiscal plan is a change of direction. “In our mind there are two really positive things,” he said.

“The first of those is a genuine quest for growth. The government’s not just accepting what the economy’s producing, it’s going out of its way to push the economy along.

“The other thing was the realisation how important the north is to Australia. At long last they realise 80 per cent of our export goods come from the north and if Australia and if that is going to grow further then we need infrastructure.

“Almost every big number for the Territory is an infrastructure project. Obviously we’ve got to wait for an election and wait and see where the cash is but I thought it was a really positive budget.

“In the past growth is almost a default out of government but if we want to get full employment and get over the deficit we’ve got to make the cake bigger and it’s no suprirse they’re looking north.

“Territorians have argued the point since self-government but other than here I don’t think the view is widely held.”

Hospitality NT chief executive Alex Bruce said the budget would fuel local jobs.

“We would have liked to see the excise tax changes on beer and we joined the national push,” Mr Bruce said.

Meanwhile, the NT’s main political parties have welcomed last night’s budget – although both have different reasons for their support.

POLITICIANS BEHIND BUDGET — BUT FOR DIFFERENT REASONS

THE Territory’s main political parties have welcomed last night’s Federal budget – although both have given different reasons for their support.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the budget showed the Federal Government had bought into Labor’s plan for economic growth and Opposition Leader said the Coalition was cleaning up Labor’s mess.

“The Feds have our plan, they have read our plan and they have signed up to our Territory plan,” Mr Gunner said.

“We wanted money for jobs and we got it. We will use this money to build roads, build new industries and deliver a new jobs boom for Territorians.

“I’ve been working closely with the PM and my team has been banging on doors in Canberra to make sure the Feds knew about the opportunity for jobs in the Territory and they have heard our message.

“There’s plenty of detail to work through but this is what we wanted for Territory jobs.

“There are some measures in the Budget that will help Territorians deal with the cost of living and that’s welcome.

“We continue to call on the Feds to join us on a 50-50 funding split for hospitals because Territorians deserve it.”

Ms Finocchiaro welcomed the Commonwealth’s ongoing commitment to the Territory.

“The Morrison Coalition Government can see the Northern Territory’s abysmal economic position under the Gunner Labor Government, and is committing $5.5bn in funding to the NT over the next financial year,” she said.

“Key commitments include a $2.6bn funding injection in Territory infrastructure projects,

which will spur economic growth and create jobs. The Federal Government is investing $1.5bn for new port infrastructure, including a wharf and offloading facility at the Port of

Darwin, and $440 million to construct new logistics hubs in Alice Springs, Katherine and

Tennant Creek.

“We welcome the Federal Government’s plan to expand the Territory’s military capability with 1000 additional troops. I have actively lobbied for more boots on the ground, most recently in my meeting with Minister Dutton just a few weeks ago – and the Coalition has delivered.

“This is a great outcome and a tangible boost for our economy. An extra 1000 defence workers and their families translates to around 4000 additional Territorians. That means more people shopping local, more people buying houses, more kids in schools and in local sport.

“The Territory will experience real population growth, at a time when NT Labor’s policy

failures around the economy, crime, health, education and housing has contributed to a decline in the Territory’s population.”

Ms Finocchiaro also praised other key Commonwealth spending measures.

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