On 18 June 2015, the Government released Our North, Our Future – the first ever White Paper on Developing Northern Australia. The White Paper is a vision—and a plan—to unlock the great potential and opportunities of the north. A strong north means a strong nation.
The White Paper investments of $1.2 billion are across a range of activities to support simpler land arrangements; develop the north’s water resources and infrastructure development; improve the business, trade and investment gateway; support a northern workforce for growth, and; ensuring effective governance arrangements.
In addition, the $5 billion for the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, is providing concessional loans for infrastructure projects across the north.
The Office of Northern Australia (ONA) was established in 2009 and assists the Ministers for Northern Australia to coordinate implementation of the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia. The Office is the central source of expertise, providing the Government with sound policy advice and analysis on future initiatives to support the development of northern Australia.
In delivering outcomes from the White Paper, the Office of Northern Australia is focused on the following strategic priorities:
- Joint action: developing cooperative approaches to regional economic development across northern Australia.
- Advocacy: engaging effectively with communities and stakeholders.
- Alignment: fostering consensus and understanding of aspirations and priorities.
- Awareness: building capacity for evidence-based decision making and learning from the lessons of the past.
Who we report to
The Office of Northern Australia is located in the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.
Ministerial responsibility for the Office of Northern Australia lies with the Hon Barnaby Joyce, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia.