LEICHHARDT MP Warren Entsch has welcomed the reaching of key milestones during this Parliamentary sitting which will enable the White Paper process for the Development of Northern Australia to launch soundly in the New Year.
The membership of the Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia (JSCNA) was approved by the Senate on December 4th and is as follows:
The Hon Warren Entsch MP Liberal Party of Australia, Leichhardt, QLD (Chair)
Senator Sue Boyce Liberal Party of Australia, QLD
Mr George Christensen MP The Nationals, Dawson, QLD
Senator Alan Eggleston Liberal Party of Australia, WA
The Hon Gary Gray AO, MP Australian Labor Party, Brand, WA
Mrs Natasha Griggs MP Country Liberal Party, Solomon, NT
The Hon Alannah MacTiernan MP Australian Labor Party, Perth, WA
Senator the Hon Jan McLucas Australian Labor Party, QLD
Senator Deborah O’Neill Australian Labor Party, NSW
Ms Melissa Price MP Liberal Party of Australia, Durack, WA
Senator Rachel Siewert Australian Greens, WA
The Hon Warren Snowdon MP Australian Labor Party, Lingiari, NT
“I’m very pleased with the makeup because the Committee members not only represent regions from across Northern Australia, but they’ve got a great breadth of knowledge of the issues and interests that we’re likely to come across,” Mr Entsch said.
“We had our first meeting yesterday to formalise my appointment as Chair, along with other procedural matters. The Secretariat is now working on an itinerary for the widespread community consultation, which is expected to start in mid-February and continue in April.”
The Terms of Reference have also been tabled this week and can be viewed in full here.
“The Terms of Reference very clearly outline the scope of the Committee’s work, and are broad enough to cover a diverse range of opportunities,” Mr Entsch said.
“Specifically, the committee will examine the potential for development of the region’s minerals, energy, agricultural, tourism, defence and other industries, and provide recommendations to enhance trade and other investment links with the Asia-Pacific, establish a conducive regulatory, taxation and economic environment, address impediments to growth and set conditions for private investment and innovation.
“We’ll also identify the critical economic and social infrastructure needed to support the long-term growth of the region, and ways to support planning and investment in that infrastructure.”
The Committee will present an interim report to Parliament soon after 30th May 2014, with particular reference to the outcomes of public hearings held across Northern Australia. Its final report and recommendations will be presented to the Parliament on or before 6th July 2014.
Individuals and organisations who are interested in contributing to the White Paper process can now make submissions directly to the Secretariat, which can be contacted at the following:
Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia
PO Box 6021
CANBERRA ACT 2600
Phone: (02) 6277 4162
Fax: (02) 6277 4427
“I’ve been blown away by the level of interest this policy has generated since the announcement after the election,” Mr Entsch said. “Anyone who has already contacted my office to express interest in the White Paper can rest assured that their details have now been forwarded to the Secretariat for further consideration.
“I’m looking forward to the extensive public consultation program that will take place next year during non-sitting weeks, along with working closely with the committee and the secretariat on how we drive a better future for Northern Australia.
“There’s no doubt we’ve got a big job ahead of us so it’s great that the foundations have been laid this week.”