Mount Isa is the centre of decision-making on the future development of Northern Australia this week, with Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan convening a meeting of State and Territory representatives in the city.
The third meeting of the Ministerial Forum on Northern Development is being held on Thursday (November 8) to progress job and wealth-creating endeavours across a number of areas including resources, tourism, defence industry, water and indigenous economic development.
It will bring together several Federal Ministers, as well as State Ministers from Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory to look at policy development across jurisdictions in the north.
“To unlock Northern Australia’s full potential, we need to work together to help support innovation, enterprise and productivity in new and existing industries,” Minister Canavan said.
“This is a crucial opportunity to advocate for and champion northern Australia, and to promote investment opportunities in this important part of the country.”
With resources and mining on the agenda, Minister Canavan said Mount Isa was a fitting location for the meeting.
“The North West Minerals Province is one of the world’s richest mineral-producing regions, and it has delivered major economic benefits to Queensland for decades,” he said.
“The region contains an estimated 75 per cent of Queensland's total metalliferous resources such as copper, silver, lead and zinc. Resources sourced from the region contribute a massive $1.3 billion to the gross regional product, employs a total of 7,700 full time employees – or almost half of the north west’s total fulltime workers - and injects around $397 million in wages to the economy.
“I’m really looking forward to working together to explore how we can make Northern Australia an even bigger economic powerhouse for the nation through investment and cooperation.”
Tours of Mt Isa mining projects will form part of the forum’s activities, with Ministers also getting the chance to discuss issues with stakeholders from across the north.
Minister Canavan, Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion and Assistant Trade Minister Mark Coulton will represent the Australian Government at the meeting. Other attendees include Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, NT Treasurer Nicole Manison, NT Minister for Tourism Lauren Moss and WA Assistant Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade Darren West.