Budget delivers for a stronger Northern Australia

The Liberal National’s 2022-23 Federal Budget backs our plan to grow a stronger Northern Australian economy and support the region to grow, innovate and create jobs.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the Budget commits an impressive $16.5 billion directly to the north for new measures to drive economic development and provide wide ranging benefits to Northern Australia and its communities.

“We are delivering significant new investment in the north’s water and roads infrastructure, and important regional development programs that are going to greatly impact communities,” Minister Littleproud said.

“These investments build on the Government’s next five-year plan, Our North, Our Future 2021-2026: Targeted Growth, which reaffirms our commitment to supporting resilient and sustainable growth and maximising the north as a global economic contributor.

“We are providing an additional $2 billion in funding and investments through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility underpinning economic growth in the region.

“Northern Australia will receive more than $1.7 billion in roads funding, which includes over $1 billion to fund priority infrastructure projects on the Outback Way, expand the successful Northern Australia Roads Program, and $715 million for upgrades to other priority roads across the north’s vast landscape.

“The purpose of this investment is to support the growing potential of the north to accelerate job creation and business growth.”

Water is a critical industry in Northern Australia and its importance is reflected in this year’s Budget, with significant investments being made towards water infrastructure to transform economic potential and support regional growth in the north.

In the Northern Territory, $300.6 million has been committed towards Stage 1 of the Darwin Region Water Supply Infrastructure Program and $7.1 million for the Adelaide River Catchment Water Allocation Plan, ensuring a safer, more reliable and more sustainable water supply. 

An additional $11.6 million has been invested for the North Queensland Water Infrastructure Authority to continue the development and delivery of vital water infrastructure. 

Minister Littleproud said this year’s Budget also delivers more than $5.8 billion and will turbocharge the economies of three key regional hubs in the north – the Pilbara in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and Central and North Queensland over 11 years from 2022-23.

“This investment will drive growth in manufacturing, critical minerals, supply chains, water security and renewable energy industries for a modern and diversified economy,” Minister Littleproud said.

“Enhancing the economic prosperity of Indigenous Australians remains at the centre of our Northern Australia agenda.

“The 2022-23 Budget commits over $183 million to support a range of activities to improve economic, social and health outcomes for Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory, particularly those living in remote communities.

“In addition, the highly-successful Indigenous Rangers Program will be expanded nationally, along with funds to implement the Local and Regional Voices through the Indigenous Voice Co-design Process, support to build the capacity of Prescribed Bodies Corporate, and assistance for the next generation of Indigenous leaders through mentoring, leadership and culturally appropriate governance.

“More than $61 million will go towards improving biosecurity capabilities, infrastructure and risk management activities across Northern Australia.

“The Budget also safeguards Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, with $1 billion to strengthen Australia’s stewardship and leadership in protection of the Reef, and an additional $63.6 million for the Australian Institute of Marine Science.”

Special Envoy for Northern Australia and Senator for Queensland Susan McDonald said the north will also benefit from national investments.

“This includes $1.3 billion in connectivity measures to expand mobile coverage, $250.5 million to assist critical minerals market readiness and $224.4 million for improved health access,” Senator McDonald said.

“The north will reap the benefits set to flow from the $151.6 million in defence industry support programs, $3.7 billion to increase skills development, $146.5 million for tourism recovery, as well as commitments to a range of visa measures to address work shortages.

Further information on 2022–23 Budget investments benefiting Northern Australia can be accessed at www.infrastructure.gov.au/office-northern-australia   

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