Today’s announcement by the NT Government of a new process for land access agreements is a welcome move that will help invigorate the Northern Territory economy and drive further investment in the mining industry.

However, while this new process is welcome, the devil is in the detail and there are still a number of issues that need to be worked through.

The importance of the mining industry to the NT economy cannot be overstated.

It is the second largest industry in the Territory, accounting for more than 13 per cent of Gross State Product (GSP) – or $2.7 billion in 2013-14 - which is a 30 per cent increase compared to 2012-13.

While the new process is welcome, we don’t want to see uncertainty created by the introduction of more bureaucratic structures that are of no benefit to anyone.

We believe the most important consideration that must be placed at the centre of land access agreements is certainty.  Without this, new investment will not occur, jobs won’t be created and economic growth won’t happen.

The mining industry contributes over $160 million each year to the Northern Territory government through the payment of royalties. These funds help pay for greater investment in public services such as schools, hospitals and roads across the NT.

While we welcome the new process for land use agreements, we must make sure that it does not threaten the capacity for new investment in one the Territory’s largest industries.

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