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A new port in Darwin is expected to boost jobs and help industry export more gas and critical minerals.
Campaigning in the Northern Territory on Tuesday, deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce said the $1.5bn investment at Middle Arm would make it a world-leading industrial hub for gas processing and high-value minerals processing and refinement.
“Our investment will deliver this, supporting port infrastructure, including a wharf and offloading facility, and dredging of the shipping channel,” he said.
Darwin’s existing port was controversially leased to Chinese company Landbridge for 99 years by the NT government in 2015.
Joyce said Australia must become stronger and more resilient in the face of geopolitical tensions.
“This is part of our plan to become as strong as possible as quickly as possible,” he said in a statement.
The plan includes $440m to build new logistics hubs at Alice Springs, Katherine and Tennant Creek and $300m for low-emissions LNG and clean hydrogen production at Middle Arm, together with associated carbon capture and storage infrastructure.
As well there is $200m to further develop the Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct, delivering a rail spur and new road network and $110mn to continue to upgrade and further seal the Tanami Road.
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