Economic recovery plan will come three months after election as Gunner names new commission

by | May 22, 2020 | Business, COVID-19, News, NT Politics | 1 comment

The Gunner Government has announced its Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission, who have been given a November deadline to develop a plan to rebuild the economy post-coronavirus.

Only three of the seven members are local Territorians.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the final membership would be named next week, including the selection of co-chairs.

The membership so far includes former former Labor chief minister Paul Henderson, former CLP opposition leader Gary Higgins, NT Treaty commissioner Mick Dodson, Department of Prime Minister secretary Martin Parkinson, Infrastructure Australia CEO Romilly Madew, former Westpac CEO Gail Kelly and Beyond Zero Emissions CEO Eytan Lenko.

“Australia is going through a once-in-a-lifetime crisis right now, and the NT is not immune from its impacts,” Mr Gunner said.

“But this can also be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Territory. The Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission will be tasked with helping to write the roadmap for the Territory’s recovery – so we can be Australia’s comeback capital.”

Two ‘Team NT’ players traded to ‘Team Territory’ to save the economy

Territory Alliance leader Terry Mills said he believed the commission should have more representatives who understood the unique challenges of the Northern Territory.

“Michael Gunner can’t even manage a home renovations program so it beggars belief how he thinks he can manage the economic recovery in the NT,” he told the NT Independent.  

“I can’t understand some southerners being on the commission, but the locals with real talent have been overlooked.”  

Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro echoed Mr Mills’ sentiment.

“There are impressive names in this membership list, but many of them are from interstate and that doesn’t address the disconnect between the Gunner Government and the people at the coalface of growing our economy,” she said.

A Green Paper on the Territory’s recovery – Operation Rebound ­– has been developed to help guide the commission’s work.

The commission will provide an interim report by late-July, and a final report in November.

Team NT members Clare Martin and Dick Guit (L-R) are now on Team Territory

To support the work of the commission, the government said it was establishing “Team Territory”, which will feature several business, industry and community leaders.

It will be chaired by Clare Martin and Dick Guit – who have apparently been traded from the previously formed “Team NT”, which was established in 2018 and tasked with “bringing new investment to the Territory to create local jobs, drive economic opportunities and boost our population”.

The new “Team Territory’s” task is to “advise the commission to make sure their recommendations can work for the Territory, and then advise the next government on its implementation once the commission has completed its work”.

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