Another Milestone Reached – $400 million Darwin Ship Lift Appears In 2019-20 Mid-Year Report

Treasurer Nicole Manison has tabled the 2019-20 Mid-Year report which shows that creating local jobs – including through the Darwin Ship Lift project – continues to remain the government’s main priority.

The Mid-Year Report shows the Territory’s projected deficit of $1.049 billion, a $5 million improvement on what was forecasted in the May 2019 Budget ($1.054b).

For the first time, forward projections include the Territory Labor Government’s promise to deliver the $400 million Darwin Ship Lift project.

This strategic infrastructure will position the Territory as an international marine servicing hub and deliver 400 ongoing jobs and will bring $260 million into the NT economy every year.

This $400 million will reduce if the Federal Government allocate the $300 million being requested for this nationally significant project.

The Mid-Year report also reflects NT Government’s decision not to sell the Land Titles Office (LTO) including the Integrated Land Information System (ILIS), which was a recommendation in the independent report ‘A Plan to Fix the Budget’.

Despite ruling out the sale of the LTO, ‘A Plan to Fix the Budget’ remains on track – and will see government reduce expenditure by $11.2 billion over 10-years and return to surplus by 2027/28.

The Government also today confirmed public service staffing numbers continue to trend down (From 21,760 in June quarter to 21,547 in September) showing the governments staffing cap is working.

Since the cap was announced in March, some agencies have had extra staff approved to meet demand for front line services, including police, PALIs, and Palmerston Hospital staff* and to accommodate Commonwealth-funded positions (which don’t negatively impact on the NT budget).

As stated by Treasurer, Nicole Manison:

“Our Government remains focused on creating local jobs and that’s why we have included $400 million for a Ship Lift funding in our forward projections because we will build it starting next year.

“Times are challenging – made worse by the brutal $500 million annual Federal Government GST cuts – but we are investing in job-creating economic green shoots like the Ship Lift.

“We are also repairing the budget, so that we can keep investing in the right areas and deliver on those vital frontline services including more police.

“Unlike what the CLP would do, we are not selling public assets – like the Port and TIO – we are not sacking teachers and we are not hiking Territorian’s power prices by 30%.

“We have decided reject the recommendation to sell the LTO because, unlike the CLP, we want Government assets to stay in the hands of Territorians.

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