Australia is still a young country with untapped development opportunities. Our history has focused on the south east corner which means that future development opportunities will come elsewhere, especially in northern Australia.
Northern Australia has many natural advantages: 60 per cent of Australia's rainfall, more than 10 million hectares of soil suitable for irrigation, abundant mineral resources, stunning natural tourism assets and proximity to areas of Asia that are developing rapidly.
There is an active role for government to help take these opportunities because governments need to provide the roads, rail, dams and ports that can attract private sector investment and capital.
The Joint Parliamentary Committee on Northern Australia recently produced a report on northern opportunities, and I am a member of this committee. A copy of their report is available here.
Now is the time to turn words into actions though. The Government will be releasing a white paper on Northern Australia within the next year with these plans. To get involved in the Government's white paper process go here.