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Media release from Michael Gunner, Chief Minister, Northern Territory Government

Jobs, Trust, Children, Bush, Communities – The Year Ahead
9 February 2017
Restoring trust in Government, creating jobs, investing in children, empowering the bush and building safer, fairer and stronger communities right across the Territory are at the heart of the Territory Labor Government’s plans for 2017.
Speaking at the annual The Year Ahead lunch, Chief Minister Michael Gunner outlined a plan to see our city centres transformed - and the potential of our regional towns unlocked – including the formation of the Capital City Committee to begin work immediately on plans to enliven Darwin City as the tropical capital of the North.
He said the 10-year-plan to bring the Darwin CBD to life will work with Government’s long-term infrastructure investment, $120 million of which has been fast-tracked for 2017 to support jobs.
“We understand that a secure and rewarding job is the best way to improve our quality of life - that’s why this Government is investing in job creation right across the Territory,” Mr Gunner said.
“Beginning this year we will embark on a massive capital works program to overhaul our capital city CBD and towns, which will support and stimulate small business.
“This plan is about creating local jobs. Investment has not kept pace with the march of time. Our towns want for rejuvenation. They want for purpose.  They want for services and for money to awaken industries, tourism and private investment.
“This year we start on a 10-year plan to bring the Darwin CBD to life. And we have started immediately with multi-million dollar stimulus packages and the fast tracking of $120 million of Government infrastructure projects.”
Mr Gunner announced esteemed architect Professor Lawrence Neald had been appointed to put together an advisory team to work with world-renowned Professor Mat Santamouris (pictured above) who has undertaken ‘heat-testing’ for the CBD.
“We have a vision to transform our retail and living space by making it a more comfortable place to live, work and play because we must get people back to the CBD.  We must fill our units and office space. 
“Cooling the CBD could mean more green space, vegetation canopies, reflective pavement and water features - the tropical city Singapore is a good example of how this can work well”
Mr Gunner said re-developing Darwin’s State Square was integral to the revitalization of the CBD and could include:
  • Demolishing the Chan Building
  • Moving the Bus Terminal
  • Moving the Supreme Court carpark (possibly underground)
  • Building another museum at Myilly Point
Mr Gunner said vision for the Territory towns included:
Alice Springs:
  • The iconic indigenous art gallery will be the centre of an Alice Springs revitalisation, guided by the appointment of a consultation group of Aboriginal and other experts;
  • Investing in the CBD by creating more open spaces and road re-design;
  • Showcasing the unique art and culture of the region
Tennant Creek:
  • Working with Geoscience Australia to map a 550kmn seismic line for opportunities underground;
  • Making all exploration records since 1901 public and easily accessible
  • Investing in the Northern Gas Pipeline, which will create more than 900 jobs during construction phase
  • Revitalising the town with an up-scaled gallery as part of the indigenous arts trail from Alice to Darwin
  • Building a logistics hub and business park so Katherine can realise its potential as an inland port and agribusiness centre of national importance;
  • Investing in environmentally sound water capture method and commissioning water mapping studies of the region;
  • Further developing agribusiness potential
  • Revitalising the town with an up-scaled gallery as part of the indigenous arts trail from Alice to Darwin
  • Building a new Hospital;
  • $15 million to build a police station for its suburbs (one of our fast-tracked projects)
  • Re-establishing a re-engagement centre for kids who struggle in the education system as part of an $8 million spend on child support services;
  • Installing a regional coordinator to bring together services and find gaps in service delivery needs.
Media Contact: Cameron Angus 0404 021 192

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Page Last Updated: 21 Feb 2017