Northern Territory Shadow Treasurer Willem Westra van Holthe
Victor P Taffa
Economic growth in the Northern Territory has gone backwards for the second time in three quarters, highlighting again the Government’s failure to deliver a strong economy.
Shadow Treasurer Willem Westra van Holthe said the March quarter figure of -0.7% was the sixth time in nine quarters that economic activity measured by State Final Demand has declined in the Territory.
“While the latest Australia-wide figure can be attributed to climactic factors including cyclones Yasi and Carlos and the floods that hit the east coast during February, the longer term trend in the Territory points to an economy seriously in the doldrums.” Mr. Westra van Holthe said.
“In the 12 months to March 2011, the Territory was the only economy to record negative growth, posting a 1% dip while every other State and Territory posted an increase.”
“Some, like resource dependent Western Australia, posted a substantial increase of 6.8%.” Mr. Westra van Holthe said.
“The Henderson Labor Government has sent the Territory’s debt sky-rocketing and next year the budget is expected to be almost $400 Million in deficit, yet despite this spending over the past 12 months the economy has lagged behind the rest of the country.”
“The slowdown is illustrated by the latest dwelling approval figures which show the building sector has hit a wall.” Mr. Westra van Holthe said.
“In the Northern Territory in April, just 57 dwellings were approved, while the Government’s own figures show the Territory needs at least 100 new dwellings a month to meet the demand for new housing.”
“Housing is the engine room of the economy, but right at the moment, both of them have stalled.” Mr. Westra van Holthe said.