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Budget invests more than $4 billion into northern Australia

8 October 2020

Joint media release with Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt

The Coalition Government is investing more than $4 billion in northern Australia to create jobs and stimulate economic opportunities as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the Morrison-McCormack Government is implementing its plan to rebuild the economy and create jobs.

“We are getting on with economic recovery by investing over $4.15 billion to develop more infrastructure and create jobs across Australia’s north,” Minister Pitt said.

“This is on top of a suite of nation-wide initiatives that will also benefit northern Australia.

“We will capitalise on the north’s advantages in gas, critical minerals and renewable energy sources.”

Northern Australia is at the forefront of the gas-led recovery with $52.9 million invested for Strategic Basin Plans for the Beetaloo and North Bowen and Galilee; independent scientific research into the social, economic and environmental impacts of gas; and support for emissions reduction through carbon capture.

“Gas will play a critical role in the nation’s economic recovery, to capture new opportunities in global resources markets and position Australia to bounce back stronger,” Minister Pitt said. 

The $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility received an additional $41.5 million to extend operations for five years to 2026 and implement reforms to expand eligibility, increase access to the facility, fast-track approvals, and accelerate lending.

Assistant Minister for Northern Australia Michelle Landry said the 2020-21 Budget would help northern Australia recover from the impact of COVID-19.

“The north is full of hard working, resilient, resourceful and compassionate people and communities,” Assistant Minister Landry said.

“We do what we do best; we band together, we look after each other and we will get on with recovery in the north.”

Other Budget 2020-21 highlights for northern Australia include:

  • Supporting reliable energy infrastructure – $3.3 million Collinsville feasibility study to assess a new high-efficiency, low-emissions coal fired power station, and further support for CopperString 2.0 Project to connect the North West Minerals Province to the National Electricity Market, near Townsville.
  • $655 million in additional road infrastructure across the north.
  • $3 million to the North Queensland Water Infrastructure Authority to accelerate water infrastructure planning and agricultural opportunities.
  • $5.6 million for the National Water Grid Authority to identify priority projects for the national 10-year Australian Investment Schedule for water infrastructure projects; the Australian Government is working closely with the Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australian governments.  
  • Regional Tourism Recovery Package – $17 million to northern tourism regions reliant on international markets: $10 million for Tropical North Queensland, $3.5 million for the Whitsundays and Mackay region, and $3.5 million Lasseter and Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.
  • Building Better Regions Fund – $200 million for projects that boost local infrastructure in regional communities, with $100 million dedicated to tourism-related infrastructure.
  • $233.4 million to upgrade critical tourism infrastructure in Commonwealth National Parks including Uluru-Kata-Tjuta, Kakadu and Christmas Island, and $11.6 million to support the Great Barrier Reef tourism industry.
  • Supporting Healthy Oceans – $47.3 million to enhance the health and management of oceans and territorial waters with expanded Indigenous engagement through park management.
  • Modern Manufacturing Strategy – $1.5 billion: $1.3 billion for Modern Manufacturing Initiative; $107.2 million for Supply Chain Resilience Initiative; and $52.8 million for the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund Expansion.
  • Investment in digital connectivity to facilitate economic and social advancement, and engage in the national and global digital economy.
  • $328.4 million for the agriculture industry to implement reforms to accelerate trade growth and ensure our exports reach overseas markets faster.
  • More than $3 billion in defence funding for facilities in northern Australia.

Media contacts:

Minister Pitt's office 02 6277 7180

Minister Landry's office 02 6277 4283