The vision for Northern Australia: Nation-building for transformative growth and a net zero future

Minister for Northern Australia Madeleine King delivered her first Annual Ministerial Statement to Parliament on the Albanese Government’s vision for Northern Australia.

Minister King outlined a transformative nation-building agenda, with investment in infrastructure and resource projects that will unlock enormous economic benefit for Australia’s northern regions and drive the nation’s transition towards a net zero economy. 

With some of the most significant investments the north has ever seen, the Albanese Government’s Northern Australia agenda will uplift and enrich communities.

The Government is working collaboratively with local and state governments, business groups, community members and First Nations people.

First Nations Australians will be empowered as partners and advisors in deciding how the Northern Australia agenda will be implemented.

Their custodianship of country, cultural knowledge and leadership are central to ensuring Australia becomes a future renewable energy powerhouse in ways that protect and preserve our shared ancient cultural heritage.

Minister King said the needs and ambitions of Indigenous Australians are integral to the future of the north.

“The Northern Australia Indigenous Reference Group plays a key advisory role, and has identified localised business support, workforce development and connectivity as key priorities that are critical to helping First Nations businesses and communities to prosper in Northern Australia,” Minister King said.

“In addition, the Northern Australia Ministerial Forum has agreed on joint actions focused on human capital, infrastructure and economic development and diversification – with the revitalised ‘Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia’ as a guide.

“The Australian Government’s vision for Northern Australia is consistent with our other core commitments, such as the Uluru Statement from the Heart, net zero by 2050, and transitioning communities to a low carbon economy.”

Minister King also emphasised how critical minerals will be a key part of the North’s new economy and Australia’s progress to decarbonisation.

“Our government is investing in Northern Australia’s emerging critical minerals industry with $100 million for the Critical Minerals Development Program and $50.5 million to establish the Critical Minerals Research and Development Hub,” Minister King said.

“The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) is another key funding pillar driving the Northern Australia agenda. There have been $3.9 billion in financing commitments made to date, with an additional $2 billion to be made available over the next four years.

“This will ensure we can continue to invest in projects which will benefit Northern Australia and the nation as a whole while boosting local and national employment opportunities.

“In addition, the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia has invested in 75 projects at a combined value of $78 million, continuing to build the evidence base for the sustainable economic and social development of our North.”

Building sustainable, resilient, safe and healthy communities in Australia is as critical to the nation’s future as the successful delivery of transformative resource and energy projects.

Both are fundamental to the Government’s commitment to making sure no one is left behind as Australia diversifies its economy and transitions to a lower carbon economy.

To read the full annual statement, and for further information on the Government’s Northern Australia agenda and investments, visit