Investment in local infrastructure will create jobs in the NT

October 04, 2019

This week’s Reserve Bank interest rate cuts again show the need for Scott Morrison to bring forward infrastructure projects across the Northern Territory.

After three rate cuts since the May election, record low interest rates are now one quarter of what they were during the depths of the Global Financial Crisis.

This latest cut comes after months of calls on the Morrison Government, from the Reserve Bank and leading industry groups, to bring forward funding for regional infrastructure, to create jobs and improve productivity.

Australians are struggling, the economy is growing at its slowest pace in a decade, wages are stagnant, and there is no help from the Morrison Government. In fact, the Government’s much hyped NAIF has become the No Actual Infrastructure Fund, having spent less than 1 per cent of its budget, four years after its announcement.

Just last week, the Reserve Bank Governor repeated that it is still possible for the Government to do more, to build and maintain infrastructure in the regions. It’s time the Morrison Government listened.

We know there are projects in the Northern Territory that could get underway now, but are being forced to wait years for funding from the Federal Government.

Projects such as the Newman to Katherine road upgrades where just $12 million of the $110 million will be released in this term of Parliament, and the Alice Springs to Halls Creek upgrades where less than $30 million of $235 million will be released in this term of Parliament.

People living in the Northern Territory want jobs now - not in five years, or ten years. The drought is hurting many communities and only investment in local infrastructure will create the jobs that Northern Territory needs and deserves.

Rather than taking action now, the Government just keeps overpromising and under delivering.

How many calls from the Reserve Bank, the construction industry, struggling communities and the Government’s own infrastructure body is it going to take for Scott Morrison to bring forward funding and invest in the Northern Territory?

It’s time Scott Morrison got behind our regional economies, and brought forward infrastructure spending and the jobs that will come with it.