DESCRIBING transport as the key enabler in achieving the government's vision for the Northern Territory to become Australia's trading route and logistics hub into Asia, NT Transport Minister Peter Styles last week announced the creation of an Integrated Transport Planning and Investment Roadmap.
"The Territory is open for business and we need to capitalise – it's as simple as that. Our proximity to Asia, which is already the world's biggest and fastest growing regional economy is the Territory's greatest advantage and makes us unique in the Australian economy," Mr Styles said.
"If we are to achieve our goals of economic and social development we have to maximise our trade with the priority markets of Japan, China and Indonesia and foster and develop the emerging markets."
Mr Styles said the vision for Darwin and the Territory is dependent on access to appropriate transport infrastructure and requires a realistic long term plan. He added that without good transport systems and reliable supply chains, people cannot easily access and participate in society and take advantage of new opportunities.
According to the Minister, the Integrated Transport Planning and Investment Roadmap will develop the Territory's transport infrastructure and services, such as roads and bridges, ports and barge landings, railways and airports and aerodromes, to help drive economic growth.
Mr Styles said he was looking forward to working with new Australian Government to achieve the Territory's goals of economic and social development and to create a stronger and more prosperous Northern Australia.
"I look forward to working with the new Australian Government, the transport and logistics industries of the Territory and the community to continue to deliver transport reforms to assist in our goal of economic and social development and inclusion for all Territorians," he said.
The Roadmap will be open for consultation to industry and the community from the middle of December until mid-February 2014.