The Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission (TERC) met in Darwin recently ahead of the formal handover of their findings to the Northern Territory Government. The Government must be congratulated for bringing together such eminent Australians to review our situation and provide some learned viewpoints on how we should address our precarious current economic position.
TERC made a couple of presentations to business. The first presentation had all of the Commissioners represented (aside from Gail Kelly, former CEO of the Westpac Bank). The most telling comment from my perspective came from Martin Parkinson, a former Secretary to the Department of Treasury and Secretary to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. He was blunt in his assessment that the NT was virtually trading insolvent with no way of paying our bills without the continued support of the Federal Government. To continue as we are is simply not an option.
The second address was the Energy Club’s hosting of the Co-Chairs of TERC in former Chief Minister, Hon Paul Henderson, and former CEO/President of Dow Chemicals, Andrew Liveris. Mr Liveris’ delivery was particularly forthright in detailing the pathway forward he believed must be pursued. Both agreed there was no ‘either/or’ when it came to renewables and fossil fuels – it was a resolute ‘and’ in unlocking our potential going forward. Mr Liveris elaborated on a combination of power generation and a gas-fuelled manufacturing base as key components of a strong NT economic future.
They were fascinating overviews by extremely able people and the report, upon its release, should make for interesting reading. It’s what happens with their recommendations that will be just as interesting. The proof of the pudding, as always, is in the eating!
Chief Executive Officer
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