Northern Australia Minister Madeleine King has outlined a commitment to improving
social outcomes for First Nations people in Northern Australia, and to better housing and
community-led developments as part of a new Northern Australia agenda.
In her first speech as Minister for Northern Australia, Minister King also committed to
Closing the Gap to achieve equality for First Australians, and to work in partnership with
First Nations people to implement the Uluru Statement from the Heart, alongside
industry development and jobs in the North.
She said the Australian Government would honour an election commitment to inject
$100 million for safe housing and essential services across the Northern Territory, and for
maintenance and upgrades to remote housing across Western Australia, Queensland and
the Northern Territory.
“In keeping with our commitment to implement the Uluru Statement from the Heart,
developing Northern Australia needs to ensure a genuinely inclusive approach for all
Australians,” Minister King told the Developing Northern Australia conference in Mackay
on Yuwibara Country.
“Closing the Gap, to achieve equality for First Australians, requires access to safe
housing. The benefit of investment in health, education and employment outcomes for
First Nations people are amplified if people have access to secure and adequate
“We need to build more social housing, upgrade existing housing, and make sure that the
promise of home ownership is extended to all Australians.”
Minister King said she would re-invigorate the Northern Australia agenda and build on
opportunities for the north through collaboration with communities and governments.
She said she would restart and reinvigorate the Ministerial Forum on Northern
Development, to bring together state, territory and federal ministers with responsibility
for developing Northern Australia.
Minister King also committed to continued support for the Northern Australia
Indigenous Reference Group, which advises the Government on development and
maximising benefits and outcomes for First Nations Australians.
“I believe we need to work together, including with First Nations Australians, to truly
experience meaningful growth,” Minister King said.
“Not just in the cities, or for big companies, but for the smaller and lesser known places
and communities that experience entrenched disadvantaged, yet have so much to offer
“I will ensure the Northern Australia portfolio plays a role in creating genuine, inclusive
and sustainable engagement.”
The 2022 Developing Northern Australia Conference includes more than 400 delegates
and has a theme: “A Lead on Inclusive Development for the 21st Century”.
Speakers and attendees represent all levels of government, First Nations communities,
industry and business sectors, with presentations focusing on a range of topics including
resources, infrastructure, liveability, workforces, Indigenous-led development and
Minister King’s speech is available on the Infrastructure Department website at the