NT aims to secure defence projects

michael gunner

The Northern Territory government is establishing a team in Canberra to lobby the federal government and the US for defence industry spending.

During a speech in Darwin, NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner said defence procurement is at the top of the NT government's agenda.

"Defence procurement is not about going cap in hand to the US and Canberra," Gunner said.

"Darwin and Katherine in particular are becoming increasingly important on the global stage."

Gunner will announce his team for Canberra in March. 

The team will be tasked with securing defence projects that will create jobs in NT.

NT is competing with the likes of South Australia, Cairns and Western Australia for defence projects, with Gunner hoping the NT's geographical advantage will put them ahead of the pack.

"Why send a damaged component to Adelaide and back, or a ship to Perth and back, if it can be fixed or maintained locally?" Gunner said.

Gunner also announced he will be meeting with key government figures, including Prime Minister Turnbull, to discuss future defence opportunities.

"I have also scheduled meetings with the federal ministers of defence, defence industries and northern development," Gunner said.

The push for defence projects in the NT region comes after a 2016 Capacity to Spare report by Master Builders NT found that the size of the NT economy could grow as much as 4.7 per cent with the help of defence infrastructure projects.

MBA executive director Dave Malone said the projected $8 billion in expenditure and investment would have far reaching benefits across the territory.

"Those investments will potentially touch every sector of commercial construction as Defence looks to upgrade existing facilities, expand capability and accommodate the US rotational forces," Malone said.

"That report provides long run construction forecasts and impact analysis of the much anticipated Defence infrastructure program. This edition picks up the upgrade in the value of investments announced by the Prime Minister and Defence Minister Senator Marise Payne at the launch of the 2016 Defence White Paper."

 

 

 

 

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