Darwin offers gateway to investment in Northern Australia

Media Release

WT205/2015

07 July 2015

Joint release with:

Natasha Griggs

Federal Member for Solomon

The development of Northern Australia has taken a major step forward with a “One-Stop Shop” for potential investors set to be established in the Northern Territory.

Welcoming the decision in Darwin today, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said locating the office in the north of Australia made good sense.

“The development of Northern Australia is a core focus of the Australian Government and the Northern Australia White Paper has made a series of commitments to ensure the region reaches its economic and social potential,” Mr Truss said.

“Part of this commitment is to ensure governance arrangements are located where they should be, and the establishment of a ‘single point of entry’ office will ensure potential investors have a one stop shop to assist with the approval process.

“The Federal Government will be seeking to have other agencies co-locate with the Entry Point to enable potential investors to conveniently access the information and services they need.

“This will provide investors with a single source of information on areas such as environmental assessment, reduce the cost of investment and allow projects to commence construction sooner rather than later.

“Investors already face major hurdles when they are seeking to deliver major projects, with an often disparate and disjointed process confusing investors and slowing project delivery.

“I am looking forward to the establishment of this vital service and the results it will bring.”

Federal Member for Solomon Natasha Griggs said the one-stop shop would take a collaborative approach to assessing projects and would be based on the Major Projects Approval Agency (MPAA) model in Tasmania.

Established in July 2014, the MPAA—TAS works with companies to ensure that they understand all their regulatory and compliance obligations when undertaking a major development project in Tasmania.

The MPAA—NT will work closely with the Northern Territory Government to streamline the major project development process, including approvals under Commonwealth and Territory legislation.

“Clearly developing Northern Australia has to be counterbalanced against retaining its natural beauty, and the Australian Government will work closely with the Northern Territory Government to achieve this end,” Mrs Griggs said.

“This service will identify priority projects that will deliver immediate tangible benefits to residents, with the office set to focus primarily on major projects starting at $50 million and above.

“Other projects that are less capital intensive but still vitally important, such as those in tourism, will also be considered, ensuring the best outcome for investors, visitors and residents alike.

“When arrangements like this are combined with our other commitments such as the $5 billion Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility and the $600 million Northern Australia Roads Package, residents will soon be seeing a much stronger region.”

The new MPAA—NT office, to be based in Darwin is expected to open in January 2016.

The White Paper on Developing Northern Australia is available at northernaustralia.infrastructure.gov.au