Regional Strategies

Northern Australia White Paper

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Northern Australia can grasp its full potential and become an economic powerhouse within our great country. Our north’s future will come from its people, its ingenuity, its diversity, and its proximity to Asia. Covering 40 per cent of Australia’s land mass, our north has the resources, the connections across the Tropics, and the land, skills and institutions that the Indo-Pacific region needs; a region that has the savings and the markets to drive northern prosperity. This White Paper is an essential part of our plan to build a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia. We can take advantage of our strengths and our natural advantages.


The Hon Tony Abbott MP
Prime Minister of Australia


The Hon Warren Truss MP
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Infrastructure
and Regional Development


The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP
Minister for Trade and


Strategic Development Study

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The following four strategic development priorities have been articulated for the region based on economic potential, available resources, and the major national and international economic trends set to impact the region over the coming decades. These are presented in no priority order and include:

  • New Mine Exploration and Development.
  • Irrigated and Intensified Agriculture.
  • Energy Generation, Security, and Export.
  • Supply Chain Productivity, Efficiency, and Reliability.

In addition to the industry and infrastructure development opportunities, research identified a number of overarching economic development considerations needing to be both addressed and facilitated in the region:

  • Land tenure.
  • Labour and skills.
  • Investment hurdles and barriers.
  • Regional identity, branding and collaboration.

Strategies aimed at enhancing the overall position of North West Queensland through these avenues were considered under an additional strategic priority area titled “Creating the Environment for Investment and Economic Development”.

A series of blue sky development options were also identified to ensure a focus on the longer term development potential of the region is not overlooked.