Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Northern Australia SWA Articles

Amnesty Report: Indigenous People Forced From Outstations

Background An Amnesty International report entitled, ‘The land holds us: Aboriginal Peoples right to traditional homelands in the Northern Territory’, published in early August, has urged the Federal and Northern Territory governments to place a greater funding emphasis on Indigenous homeland communities. Comment The report by the human rights organisation alleges current government policies are...

Pilbara to House World-First Tsunami Warning System

Background Geoscience Australia, in early August 2011, broke ground in the east Pilbara on the construction of a sophisticated seismic system that will provide highly-accurate tsunami warnings. Comment The world-first early warning detection system, located about an hour from the town of Marble Bar will, when operational later this year, track earthquakes in the Indian...

Shire President to Chair Pilbara Development Commission

Background Roebourne Shire President, Councillor Nicole Lockwood, has been appointed chair of the Pilbara Development Commission (PDC) board. Comment In an announcement made in late July, Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls appointed Councillor Lockwood to lead the PDC board. Councillor Lockwood will replace Andre Bush, who has been acting chair for the last six months;...

Migration Scheme Aims to Solve Chronic Worker Shortages

Background Federal Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has announced that Perth is to be classified as a regional employment hardship area. The move will allow Perth to benefit from the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme in an attempt to alleviate projected worker shortages. Comment Mr Bowen’s announcement, made last week at a Perth Mining Conference, will allow...

Caution Required in Shale Gas Boom

Background In an agreement that may signal the beginning of a “shale gas boom” in Australia, Houston-based ConocoPhillips last week agreed to a company farm-in deal with Perth energy junior New Standard Energy (NSE). The $100 million agreement will provide capital for exploration in NSE’s Goldwyer shale gas project in Western Australia’s Canning Basin. Economic...

Carbon Tax Looms Large Over Northern Australia

Background The Federal Government has announced the details of the largest emissions trading scheme outside of Europe. The nation’s top 500 polluters will be taxed in an ambitious attempt to combat climate change and promote investment in renewable energy alternatives. The legislation will provide a mixture of opportunities and challenges for Northern Australia’s future development.   ...

Defence Feasibility Study for Northern Australia

Background Defence Minister Stephen Smith last week announced plans to conduct a Force Structure Review to ensure that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is geopolitically positioned to meet emerging strategic and security issues along the nation’s northern and western coastlines. Comment Mr Smith announced that former Defence Department Secretaries Dr Alan Hawke and Mr Ric...

Common User Facility to Diversify Pilbara’s Economic Profile

Background Anketell Port or Port Hedland’s Lumsden Point have been identified as the most appropriate potential sites for a marine-based Common User Facility (CUF), in a report released on 10 June. Comment The report, announced by Western Australian Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien and Minister for Regional Development Brendon Grylls, identifies the potential location and specifies...

Brazil: China’s New Pilbara

Background The “proximity premium” afforded to Australian iron ore companies and which provides a competitive advantage in the minerals sector, is under threat from Brazilian mining company, Vale. In June, the company announced ambitious plans to heavily invest in a global supply chain network. Comment  The Pilbara region’s primacy as the source of China’s seemingly...

Northern Australia Welcomes End of La Niña

Background The end of the capricious La Niña weather pattern will provide ecological stability for Northern Australia. Comment According to climate models surveyed by the Bureau of Meteorology, La Niña, or “the girl” in Spanish, the weather phenomenon responsible for flooding and increased cyclonic activity over Northern Australia, has begun to dissipate. Since the beginning...

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  • Associate papers are primary source assessments written by FDI associates. The assessment topics range from regional bilateral relationships and opportunities and challenges in our neighbouring countries.

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