Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Northern Australia & Land Care

Northern Australia, that region of Australia north of the Tropic of Capricorn, provides a wealth of economic opportunities for our nation. This region is also strategically important for the vital role it plays in border protection and as an interface for broader engagement with neighbouring states.

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...

Pilbara Prospects 2020: Challenges and Threats to Regional Security

Download PDF Analysis The economic and social profile of the Pilbara will continue to increase in complexity over the coming decade[1]. Bolstered by vast infrastructure projects, a growing population and a highly efficient, interdependent and maturing economic profile the region’s future seems ostensibly secure. Existing and future vulnerabilities, however, have the potential to destabilise the region,...

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...

Pilbara Prospects 2020: Developments and Challenges for the Region

Download PDF Summary The Pilbara Cities vision represents a unique and ambitious project. Government and industry have demonstrated a dedication to the development of the region with significant financial and political outlays. Bolstered by the State Government’s Royalties for Regions and resource developments, the economic and demographic profile of the Pilbara to 2020 seems ostensibly secure.  For the Pilbara...

Expansion of Pilbara Ports to Power Region’s Economy

25 November 2010 | Northern Australia & Land Care

Download PDF    Summary The ongoing strategic importance of the Pilbara region's ports is highlighted by announcements made throughout 2010 by major resource companies on the expansion and improvement of their export capacity. North West Australia’s climatic conditions and sometimes extreme weather events, such as the annual incidence of tropical cyclones, provide elements of risk...

Strategic Risk and North West Australia’s Critical Infrastructure

26 October 2010 | Northern Australia & Land Care

Download PDF Summary The Pilbara region is considered ‘the engine room of the Australian economy’.1 This region produces approximately twenty percent of Australia’s exports. According to Regional Development Australia, this is ‘made possible by 0.2 percent of the national population’. Onshore and offshore resource projects, such as Gorgon, Wheatstone and Pluto, continue unabated. The North...

The Impact of Skilled Labour Shortages on the Pilbara Region

17 September 2010 | Northern Australia & Land Care

Download PDF Summary The minerals and energy industry continues to make a significant contribution to employment and wider economic activity in the communities of regional Australia, and to governments directly through taxes and royalties. Skilled labour shortages, however, will continue to have an impact on the nation’s future growth and development prospects, especially in the...

Publication Guide

  • 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.

  • Feature interviews are interviews conducted by an FDI Research Manager. Interview topics range from the sustainability of our planet to the improved provision of emergency food aid.

  • Normally issued in hardcopy, these represent a comprehensive study of one of FDI’s four research areas.

  • Strategic alerts are priority current intelligence items. We provide these alerts when events such as military deployments or foreign election results occur.

  • A 1500 to 3000 word, single topic assessment.

  • A number of short articles addressing current intelligence topics, issued each week.

  • A record of discussions resulting from a single, or series of, roundtable conferences.

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