by Pamela Nathan
Mr Abbott, it is reported, describes northern Australia as not our last frontier but our next frontier. Mr Abbott has promised to produce a discussion paper in the first twelve months, if elected, on how to develop the ‘enormous potential’ of the vast region focusing on agricultural development, tourism, water development and energy exports. He sees the current prospects as being afflicted by ‘an ongoing development deadlock’ because of the lack of supportive investment and infrastructure.
The Age expresses a concern about any proposal that fails to consider indigenous communities and the cultural and environmental areas of our country.
It is noteworthy that Abbott recognises that there is a paucity of infrastructure in the Northern Territory. I wonder if he will address the paucity of forensic rehabilitation, legal and welfare reform and research infrastructure for Aboriginal people? I wonder if Abbott will support indigenous economic incentives as the Queensland and Federal government have supported communities in Cape York – with a massive and ongoing huge injection of funds – which have been participating in welfare reform and have set up Aboriginal controlled banana farms and art and tourist centres?