Jun 13, 2013

Sixth meeting of the Northern Australia Ministerial Forum

The sixth meeting of the Northern Australia Ministerial Forum will get underway in Cairns today, providing a valuable opportunity for State and Federal Government Ministers to discuss opportunities for jobs and economic growth in the north.

The Ministerial Forum brings together Ministers responsible for regional development and agriculture from the Federal, Western Australian, Queensland and Northern Territory governments to work collaboratively in advancing the sustainable development of Northern Australia.

Chair of the Forum, Minister for Regional Services, Local Communities and Territories, Catherine King said the Forum provided an opportunity for ideas to be shared across the four jurisdictions and has delivered innovative, considered approaches to the challenges and opportunities of Northern Australia.

“The Forum provides a fantastic opportunity to progress agreed actions for the region and to review outcomes since the last meeting at Kununurra,” Ms King said.

“Over the next two days, Ministers will discuss a range of issues including land tenure and water reform, the opportunities of the NBN in Northern Australia, the beef industry, agricultural opportunities and the potential expansion of the Ord Irrigation Scheme.”

Minister for Regional Development, Anthony Albanese, said that the Ministerial Forum had proved to be an effective vehicle for the four jurisdictions to collaborate on a range of initiatives relevant to the sustainable development of the north.

“New opportunities for the region continue to emerge from growth in the mining and resource sectors and specialisation in the development of tropical knowledge for medicine, bio-security, industry, infrastructure and agriculture,” he said.

“The Ministerial Forum will apply a strategic focus to the region, from the east to west, to ensure economic development is genuinely sustainable and connected to key growth markets in Asia.”

Ministers attending include:

  • Federal Minister for Regional Development and Local Government, Anthony Albanese MP
  • Federal Minister for Regional Services and Local Communities and Territories, Catherine King MP
  • Queensland Minister for Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, John McVeigh MP
  • Northern Territory Minister for Regional Development, Alison Anderson MLA
  • Western Australian Minister for Regional Development, Brendon Grylls MLA

More information on the Northern Australia Ministerial Forum can be found at www.regional.gov.au/regional/ona/namf.aspx