By ERWIN CHLANDA
“Development of a best practice regulated on-shore gas industry will provide an unmatched economic driver for the Territory and for Territorians,” says Opposition Leader Gary Higgins (pictured) as the release of the fracking inquiry’s final report draws near.
He is making no mention of social licence.
“Big projects need to be income producing projects. The forward-looking indicators in the CommSec State of the States report, including population growth, housing finance trends and a downturn in business investment (equipment), are extremely worrying.
“It is time for the Chief Minister and his Labor government to deliver its economic plan for Territorians, and explain the detail and the dollars. The government needs to explain how it is going to turn the economy around, and when,” he says.
“Now is not the time to be introducing new taxes or increasing the cost of living and doing business.”
Mr Higgins says approving the proposed $40m project at the Darwin International Airport must be top of the Labor government’s agenda for 2018.
“The previous CLP government had a plan to diversify the economy. When Labor came to power in 2016, construction was 21% of Northern Territory output. It is now 11%.
“The Northern Territory remains in seventh position behind all states and territories except Western Australia, a significant fall since the fourth position previously held in October 2016.
“It is time to hang out the open for business sign and get the money flowing into Territorian’s pockets, via big projects and local jobs.
“We must let businesses know we welcome them to the Territory,” said Mr Higgins.
By ERWIN CHLANDA