The 2016 Developing Northern Australia Conference; Above the Line – unleashing the north’s potential wrapped up after two days of collaborative discussion to develop and build a sustainable, liveable region to last for years to come.
The Conference was chaired by Dr Allan Dale, head of the Conference Advisory Committee and opened with The Hon Adam Giles, MLA, Northern Territory Chief Minister and The Hon Matt Canavan, Minister for Northern Australia.
The Hon John Brumby, National President, Australia China Business Council spoke on: The role of China in unleashing the north’s potential. He said;
“Massive growth in the Chinese middle class means boom in tourism, exports, agribusiness and education”.
Keynote Speaker Peter Yu, Chief Executive Officer, Nyamba Buru Yawuru, presented on Sharing risk and managing opportunities – a new way of doing business in the north. He said:
“We need new, innovative and creative Indigenous engagement and consultation strategies”.
Keynote Speaker Mr Chris Wilson, President, ConocoPhillips Australia Business Unit West spoke on: The LNG Industry and sustainable northern development.
“Australia will soon be the largest LNG producer in the world. Despite investment challenges, Darwin LNG has a strong future and Conoco Phillips is investing $10 billion in Northern Australia” said Mr Wilson.
The conference closing remarks were delivered by Dr Allan Dale who articulated the key opportunities for ensuring the conference has an impact over the next 12 months. He said this would rely on:
- All conference participants acting on the key take home messages in the coming 12 months;
- Key cross-sectoral alliances progressing these messages into the important policy-informing work that they do (e.g. the Northern RDA Alliance, the Northern Alliance (Private Sector), NAILSMA, GNARTN, etc.);
- The WA, NT and Queensland Governments and the Commonwealth picking up these key themes in continuous improvement in whitepaper delivery and new policy and investment responses; and
- Using the conference’s extensive communication platforms to keep the northern development agenda in the national consciousness.
Feedback from delegates was extremely positive, with some key pointers about how to keep improving the conference program and diversity of speakers. With nine keynote speakers, 12 Forum leaders and 85 Forum speakers over two days, participants wholeheartedly collaborated and took part in shaping the future of the North.
- The Hon Adam Giles MLA, Northern Territory Chief Minister, Minister for Tourism, Minister for Northern and Central Australia, Minister for Economic Development and Major Projects, and Minister for Indigenous Affairs
- Russell Barnett, Australian Venture Consultants
- The Hon John Brumby, National President, Australia China Business Council
- Tony Eyres, Senior Investment Specialist, Austrade
- Clare Martin, Chair Territory Natural Resource Management
- Professor Ruth Wallace, Director Northern Institute Charles Darwin University
- Sharon Warburton, Chairman, Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility
- Chris Wilson, President, ConocoPhillips Australia Business Unit West
- Peter Yu, Chief Executive Officer, Nyamba Buru Yawuru Ltd
Who Should Attend?
With such wide ranging consequences for Australia, the Conference will appeal to all who are forward thinking and support a resilient Australia. In particular:
- Federal Government inter-agency representatives
- State Government representatives from QLD, WA and NT
- Local Government representatives including CEO, General Managers, Mayors and Elected Officials
- Economic and Community Development Managers and Groups
- Sustainability and Environment Groups
- Organisations representing indigenous affairs
- Town Planners, Architects, Builders, Project Managers and Engineers
- Chamber of Commerce, RDA and Economic Development Groups
- Banking, Finance and others interested in Economic Development
- Academics and Researchers, Education Bodies with representation in Northern Australia
- Local Business Owners and Managers
- Resource Sector, Tourism Operators and Agricultural bodies
- Northern Australia Special Interest Groups
- Dr Allan Dale, Professor of Tropical Regional Development, The Cairns Institute, James Cook University (Chair)
- Peter Sugg, Chief Executive Officer, Association for Sustainability in Business Inc. (Co-Chair)
- Professor Scott Bowman, Vice Chancellor, Central Queensland University
- Chris Mitchell, Executive Officer, RDA Kimberley
- Kate Peake, Chief Executive Officer, RDA Northern Territory
- Bridgette Bellenger, Northern Australia Development Office
- Andrew Dickson, Office of Northern Australia, Policy & Research Division
- Melissa George, Chief Executive Officer, NAILSMA
- Professor Ruth Wallace, Director of the Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University
- Sue Trewin, Program Researcher, Association for Sustainability in Business Inc.