NT to lift its game with gas

September 05, 2018

New surveys have revealed there is enough gas in the Northern Territory's Beetaloo Basin to supply Australia's domestic market for almost 400 years.

Earlier this year the Northern Territory Government’s moratorium on onshore gas exploration was lifted, opening up massive economic opportunities for the territory, a move welcomed by the Conservative Party.

Earlier this week, Labor leader Bill Shorten clashed with his Victorian counterpart, Daniel ­Andrews, urging him to reconsider that state’s opposition to conventional gas exploration as means to secure domestic supply.

The Northern Territory move will be beneficial to the Australian economy as it is, by far, the area of the nation most reliant on GST donations from other states and such a profitable resource development would lift it out of its long-term mendicant status.

Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi’s motion to level the GST playing field was knocked back in the senate in June this year with the Coalition, Labor and the Greens all voting against it.

Massive inequities exist in the complex GST arrangements with the states and territories.

The Northern Territory currently has a population of only around 200,000 people yet it received $2.9 billion in the last GST distribution.

Western Australia has a population of approximately 2.7 million people and only received a $2.4 billion distribution.

New South Wales has a population of around 7.9 million people and a distribution of $17.7 billion.

Senator Bernardi’s motion called on the Minister for Finance to direct the Productivity Commission to conduct a full cost-benefit analysis of Northern Territory’s present self-governance model and determine whether the Commonwealth needs to directly intervene to rapidly improve the Northern Territory’s drag on national productivity.

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