Economic outlook bleak, says Opposition Leader


p2239-Gary-Higgins-2LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – With thousands of Territory jobs to go this year as Inpex winds back, the latest Commsec quarterly State of the States report reinforces the need for strong economic leadership.
The report shows the Northern Territory has slipped from fourth to sixth position overall and is last on key forward measures like retail spending, business investment, housing finance and population growth.
The Territory economy is sliding backwards while the Gunner Government stands still. I am greatly concerned by the downward trend, and the acceleration of that trend.
Where is the Gunner Government’s plan that will drive the economy forward? Five months since the election and the Government is still working off the Country Liberals budget and its summit process is going at snails pace.
The Gunner Government has done nothing to inspire or turn-around business sentiment.
It has killed off $50 million in private business investment by blocking Dan Mupphy’s, been forced into an embarrassing back-flip on the Home Improvement Scheme but won’t re-instate it and its immediate stimulus package will take forever to kick in.
As well, its cuts to the civil construction program are costing jobs.
Commsec, Sensis, REINT, Access Economics and even the Department of Business’s own report all tell the same story; business and consumer confidence is evaporating.
Gary Higgins
Opposition Leader
Mr Higgins said this afternoon: “License buybacks, floor space trade-offs and scrapping the 400 square meter bottle-shop limit should all be considered as part of the Labor Government’s Liquor Act review.
“A lot of work has been done and many reviews have been conducted in the Territory and nationally about the impact of alcohol over many years.,” Mr Higgins said.
“The most recent was the Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) review in which I participated. That body of work contained 26 recommendations, none of which related to limiting bottle-shop floor space.”


  1. Like so many other stories / posts in Alice Springs News Online in the past few months, we’ve had this discussion before.
    Is it just the silly season or are we bankrupt?
    At least the Gunner Government has reduced the Dan Murphy mega-grog shop from 800 square metres to 400 square metres in an effort to save some of the tragedy and trauma of excess supply currently forming the core-culture of the NT.
    Mr Giles got that one right.
    Changing the shape of the economy appears necessary to get the health and justice expenditures back to some sort of sustainable bottom line.

  2. You have to give Mr Higgins credit for advocating “licence buybacks”, considering how takeaway outlets escalated in the Alice CBD over the past 40 years, largely under the CLP, to probably the highest density per capita in the world, including New York, and it’s still in place.
    Yes, “many reviews have been conducted into the effects of alcohol”, but just because they haven’t mentioned floor space is not a logical reason to disregard its effect on the over-supply of the psycho-active substance that fuels much of the social disorder in the NT.
    Of all those reviews, what has changed in the supply of alcohol in the NT?
    Has the social outcome improved?
    Is Mr Higgins saying that economic prosperity depends on doing deals with the alcohol industry?
    The Liquor Barn concept has been around since the 1980s and Australian governments are now trying to play catch-up, so buy back licences and expand floor space?
    What’s the point?
    Would Mr Higgins like to say which of the 26 FASD recommendations he favours for immediate implementation?
    I’m also curious as to what is meant by “floor space trade offs”.

  3. Tourism creates employment and immediate economic boost. How do government gurus get lots more tourists to the NT?


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