On Day two of The 2016 Developing Northern Australia Conference; Above the Line – unleashing the north’s potential, Keynote Speakers Russell Barnett, Australian Venture Consultants spoke on: Developing Northern Australia – a perspective from the west and Professor Ruth Wallace, Director Northern Institute Charles Darwin University spoke on: Workforce development that supports economic investment in remote northern Australia and how we can make Northern Australia a desirable place to work.
Day two comprised 7 forums;
- Business, Trade and Investment
- Tropical Health
The Workforce Forum looked at workforce challenges, building a holistic view and a better understanding of economic participation.
Discussed was a need to build evidence, challenge assumptions, be creative and innovative to enable us to do more with what we have. Workforce and community is the social capital.
In terms of Governance there is need to address the ‘us and them’, building trust and collaboration.
Highlighted was a need for a shared vision and localised governance decision making based on fairness utilising Indigenous governance and culture. There is a need for robust and resilient governance arrangements and a paradigm shift to a different narrative – the value proposition.
For tourism, it is essential to understand “realistic” demand and dissect the numbers: the Asian market for urban experiences and icons is different, take a broader view and research how to innovate and design what we have for the market.
We need to review reducing passenger movement charges, the backpacker tax and make visas once approved long term. There are tourism benefits from inter sector cooperation and freight is a key to expanding Northern air links.
Propose a new coordination body Northern Australian Tourism Alliance – industry led as an advocacy voice embedded into the Cooperative Research Centre for Northern Development – this is about putting the octopus of tourism issues into every discussion.
For infrastructure there is alignment of a “Northern Australia Energy Strategy” with the white paper and jobs in renewables. Northern Australia can be at forefront of numerous sources of energy.
Telecommunication needs to supports community and business needs, connect to the world, and particularly the 50% of the world population in our Asian region.
The 2016 Developing Northern Australia Conference hosted by the Association of Sustainability in Business, brought together innovative, creative forward thinkers with a vision to develop Northern Australia for the benefit of all, creating a welcoming sustainable environment to last for years to come.
Below are the key outcomes from each of the Forums as summarised by the Forum Leaders.
Workforce Forum, Forum Leader: Dr Scott Davis, PhD, MIPH, Senior Director of the Greater Northern Australia Regional Training Network (GNARTN)
- Broader view of what economic participation and workforce means in different context
- Build evidence and challenge assumptions and perceived wisdom
- Need to be creative & innovation
- Inward migration
- Grow your own
- Do more with what we have
- Involve community & industry – partnership
- Leverage our existing industries
- Move from deficit to strength
- Share the benefits
Governance Forum, Forum Leader: Mark Coffey, Head – Office of Northern Australia
- Us and them
- Localised governance and decision making.
- Trust and collaboration.
- Shared vision and decision making based on fairness.
- Utilising Indigenous governance and culture
- Need robust and resilient governance arrangements
- Paradigm shift to a different narrative – the value proposition
Tourism Forum, Forum Leader: Professor Philip Pearce, Head, Tourism; Foundation Professor in Tourism, College of Business, Law & Governance, James Cook University
- Understand the “realistic” demand and dissect the numbers: the Asian market for urban experiences and icons is different
- Take the others, point of view – don’t simply cite what we have and like as attractive; research how to innovate, design what we have for others
- Reduce passenger movement charges, the backpacker tax and make visas once approved long term
- Tourism benefits from intersector cooperation – freight is a key to expanding Northern air links
- Propose a new coordination body Northern Australian Tourism Alliance – industry led as an advocacy voice embedded into the Cooperative Research Centre for Northern Development – this is about putting the octopus of tourism issues into every discussion.
Business, Trade and Investment Forum, Forum Leader: Luke Bowen, General Manager, Northern Australia Development Office. Agriculture Industry Advisory Council (Fed)
- Play to our strengths
- Comparative advantage
- Liveability of Northern Australia
- Right people
- Willingness for cross industry collaboration including new and emerging industries
- Understand opportunities and act on them
- Use data, science and facts when building your story
- Be innovative
- Disruptive thinking
- White paper mark II
- Cross border
- Indigenous engagement
- Consistency with government regulations
- Energy sector
- Own it
- Take ownership and don’t wait for the southern states
- Change others’ perception of the north
- Prepare for investment
- Clean up our own backyard and get our story strong
- Don’t be afraid of foreign investment
- It is not just about China – other countries are investment ready
Tropical Health Forum, Forum Leader: Professor Ian Wronski, AO Deputy Vice Chancellor Townsville
- There’s a massive opportunity for the Northern Australian population and the Australian economy in the development of Tropical Health in Northern Australia
- In many areas already globally competitive in innovation, with the potential to build knowledge based industries (arising from inventions)
- Already global leader in health workforce development and models, such as rural generalism, need to grow our own in a joined up system linking undergraduate training through to graduate, specialist and generalist.
- Experience with the National Clinical Care and Trauma Response Centre in Darwin, demonstrates the advantages almost direct comparability of context in Northern Australia with the Asia Pacific regions crisis settings
- The integration of universities, the health system and research institutes, is essential to delivery of knowledge based industries in Northern Australia, viz the Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre formation in Queensland.
Defence Forum, Forum Leader: Andrew Jones President, Australian Industry and Defence Network NT
Exciting time in the Defence Sector
- Especially North Australia
- Extraordinary commitment in funds
- Investment changing – Army, Navy & Airforce combined
- Defence is complex more than ever, but price is bigger $195 billion in infrastructure
- Don’t rely on defence solely
- White Paper
- China mentioned 64 times, Northern Australia 29 times
- If you leave it to the year at decisions, you are 3 years too late
- Budget does reflect white paper