Tens of thousands of jobs would be shifted to the top end and Australia would be split into different economic zones, under a sweeping draft Coalition plan for the development of the country's north.
The plan, outlined in a policy discussion paper entitled Vision 2030, proposes redirecting about $800 million in funds from the nation's foreign aid budget to create economic and aid opportunities closer to home.
The 30-page document -- obtained by The Daily Telegraph -- also reportedly outlines plans for the mass migration of public service workers north of the Tropic of Capricorn to Cairns, Darwin and Karratha.
The reform blueprint, which The Australian understands the Coalition has been working on for two years, proposes to establish different economic development zones and offer incentives to lure private sector workers to the north.And then there's the funny story doing the rounds that Tony wants to carve the country up into different tax zones. Sure, that wouldn't result in everyone promptly moving to the least taxed regions, but that's the whole point, a great big new economy up north!
The discussion paper, which has been circulated among senior Coalition figures, state governments and premiers for consultation, is also reported to recommend relocating major defence facilities to the north.
Tony Abbott is understood to be seeking feedback on the policy discussion paper, but the plan to split the country in half and establish a new food bowl and resource and energy industry in northern Australia is not believed to have been costed yet.
Mr Abbott and his comedic friends have evidently consorted closely with Mrs Gina Rinehart, she who is a marvelous people-person, with wondrous and deep knowledge of running countries. They've at least read her stuff, if not consorted:
In a speech to the Sydney Mining Club last September, Mrs Rinehart said: "We need to create a large special economic zone in our north, stretching across northern Queensland, northern Western Australia and the Northern Territory, with fewer regulations and taxes."Federal elections, gotta love 'em. A welcome relief from the serious business of peptides running amok through the perfectly tuned bodies of professional sportsmen across the country.
Coalition looks north for growth