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The Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association has called on both major parties to spend road funding over much shorter timeframes to meet economic development demands in Northern Australia.
NTCA Chief Executive Officer Ashley Manicaros said commitments of $500 million were welcomed however the 10-year allocated timeframes were not going to be suitable given the rush for resource development.
“The beef industry in Northern Australia already has to contend with rapidly deteriorating road infrastructure and this will only get worse with the added traffic of the resources sector,” he said. “If governments are intent on accelerating the resources roll-out the time frames should be halved from 10 years to five years with the bulk of the $500m to be spent in the next three-year term.”
“The cattle industry has repeatedly proven its stability within the Territory’s and the North Australian economy, but we will see that tested with the additional prime mover traffic which will grow exponentially over the next five years due to the desire to develop onshore gas.”
“We are not just talking about the major highways but also the unsealed beef road corridors which will add economic value to the whole of the Territory through better access”
Mr Manicaros said the NTCA had included the accelerated road funding in its 2019 election wish list.
“We have circulated this list to both major parties,” he said. “We were glad to hear the Tennant Creek radar station was to be included in the Budget, but we are yet to hear if the Labor Party, if elected, will ensure the radar goes ahead. We are also keen to have the Coalition Government match the $2 million promised by the Labor Party for the ABC to restart the shortwave service.”
“Cyclone Trevor proved once again the need for the shortwave service. If the ABC wants to be the national broadcaster, then it should behave in that way and be less Sydney-centric.”