CRCNA CEO Anne Stünzner says a renewed commitment to the Northern Australia agenda and the Northern Australia Indigenous Development Accord will ensure the north remains a priority for all Australians.

The commitment came during a meeting of the Northern Australian Ministerial Forum this week (Monday 31 October) in Darwin which was chaired by Minister for Resources and Minister for Northern Australia, the Hon Madeleine King MP and attended by government representatives from Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

The Forum agreed to a collaborative approach between governments to liveable, safe, sustainable and healthy communities in the north focused on the following priorities:

Human capital

  • Engagement with First Nations people
  • Justice reinvestment
  • Housing availability
  • Migration and mobility
  • Workforce skills and training development
  • Delivering amenity

Enabling infrastructure

  • Digital connectivity
  • Enabling roads, rail and ports
  • Common user infrastructure
  • Water

Economic development and diversification

  • Transformational and complex projects
  • Diversification that responds to climate change (adaptation and mitigation)
  • Agriculture and biosecurity
  • Data to support decision making and investment

Ms Stünzner said the CRCNA is well-placed to inform and support the Ministerial Forum as it works to refresh the Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia to develop a program of joint actions to progress the agreed priorities.

“The CRCNA is currently working with stakeholders across the north on RD&E projects which address many of the priority areas identified by the Ministerial Forum.

“I welcome the opportunity to work closely with the Ministerial Forum to provide the strong evidence-based to build and shape a sustainable Northern Australian economy.”

Ms Stünzner said a review of the Northern Australia Indigenous Development Accord is essential to ensure it reflects the needs and aspirations of Indigenous communities.

“Our recent open funding call for projects seeking to activate the north’s Indigenous Estate demonstrated the need for investment in RD&E which identifies and unlocks the enormous potential of First Nations business.

“Re-visiting the Accord acknowledges a lot of the hard work that has been done in this space and the need to support the implementation of this work and to continue investing in the opportunities which exist in this space,” she said.