Melbourne has been named the world’s third most liveable city, with Sydney 11th and Brisbane 25th.


The Victorian and NSW metropolises both fell slightly in Monocle magazine’s 2014 rankings, while Brisbane was a debutant.

Copenhagen was named the world’s most liveable city for the second year in a row followed by Tokyo, which finished fourth in 2013.

Falling from second last year, Melbourne won praise for recent public transport upgrades and its low crime rate – though Monocle’s data gave it the highest murder rate on its index of 25 cities.

“Melbourne has proved that coffee and cricket aren’t the only things it does well,” it said.

Eleventh-placed Sydney – ninth in 2013 – was criticised for its public transport system and bar lock-out laws, introduced in parts of the city in early 2014 after the `one punch’ death of teenager Thomas Kelly.

“Sydney remains Australia’s face to the world – and a pretty one at that,” Monocle said.

“Architectural breakthroughs such as the North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club and One Central Park are welcome additions.”

Brisbane’s role hosting November’s G20 summit of world leaders propelled it into the spotlight.

“Arriving delegates will discover a sun-drenched destination with a flourishing start-up scene,” Monocle said.

Monocle’s rankings are the latest to try to corral disparate global cities into some sort of cohesive ranking system, with Sydney and Melbourne regularly featuring in the various top-10s.

But some of the data it used was questionable.

For example, the London-headquartered firm claims Sydney enjoys 2592 “sunshine hours”, without offering a timeframe. Bureau of Meteorology data shows Sydney Airport recorded an average of 7.8 hours of sun per day in 2013 – or 2847 hours over the year.

Monocle also claims Sydney only has 42 book shops but directories show at least 22 in and around Glebe alone with many more across the city.

One of its judging criteria was also how many daily newspapers exist in each city (four in Sydney, three in Melbourne), disregarding the fact millions get their news online.

There was no room for London or New York in Monocle’s rankings, with the magazine claiming London’s police “can’t always be trusted”, without elaborating.

Retaining top spot on Monocle’s index, Copenhagen was praised for its easy lifestyle and cosmopolitan feel.

Tokyo’s food, arts and shopping ensured it secured second.

World number three Stanislas Wawrinka advanced with a 7-5 6-3 win over Australian Marinko Matosevic while Radek Stepanek, who eliminated Andy Murray in the third round, defeated South African Kevin Anderson 1-6 6-3 6-2.


Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov completed the semi-final lineup after Ukrainian opponent Alexandr Dolgopolov withdrew because of injury.

Lopez, who beat four-times champion Lleyton Hewitt in the second round, thumped 13 aces to reach the semis for the first time in four years.

Czech Berdych looked to have forced a decider, having led 6-3 in the second-set tiebreak, but he then lost six of the last seven points.

“I got the early break in the first set even though the match was very close,” Lopez told reporters. “My serve was working perfectly today.

“I thought it was over at 6-3 in the tiebreak. Then I won my serve twice, I was lucky at that point as I was defending and he was hitting the ball so hard with his forehand…then came the double fault.”

Swiss Wawrinka did not have it all his own way in the opening set but eventually prevailed against Matosevic who was clearly buoyed by his impressive victory over Jo Wilfried-Tsonga in the previous round.

Once Wawrinka settled into his rhythm, though, the Australian had no answer to his strong serve and all-round class as he won five successive games in the second set.

“I’m playing good,” the top seed said. “I’m really happy with that match. I’m serving well, very aggressive.”

Wawrinka will face fourth seed Dimitrov in the semi-finals while Lopez plays Czech Stepanek.

(Reporting by Tom Hayward, editing by Tony Jimenez)

Alan Toovey aside, Collingwood’s defence right now is an AFL nursery.


There will be times in Sunday’s game against the Western Bulldogs when Toovey will have more AFL experience than his five fellow backmen combined.

And at just 27 years of age and 124 games, Toovey is hardly a veteran.

But the more impressive statistic is that only Fremantle and Sydney – teams renowned for their defensive grunt – have conceded less points this season than the Magpies.

Toovey’s fellow defenders include Lachie Keeffe and Paul Seedsman (30 games apiece), Marley Williams (27), Jack Frost (13) and Tom Langdon (11) – a total of 111 games.

Heritier Lumumba (189) and Clinton Young (128) will also spend time in the back half, but Toovey will be easily the most experienced of the permanent defenders against the Dogs.

The numbers are skewed this weekend because Nick Maxwell is out with a calf injury, Alex Fasolo has been dropped and Ben Reid is yet to play in the AFL this season.

Even so, it’s a young defence doing an impressive job.

“It is a really young group, but the way they go about it this year, it’s been great,” Toovey said.

“Young blokes doing their homework, getting their research done on their opponents and playing their role for the team – it’s gone a long way to get us where we are at the moment.”

Collingwood are fourth and will start strong favourites against a team that is struggling to kick goals.

Toovey said it is important his young teammates make sure they keep it that way.

“There will be blokes in their forward line who none of us have played on before,” he said.

“It’s going to be a bit of a challenge.

“For the young guys in our team, it’s getting an advantage over opponents they might be playing against for years.

“So get in early and be the ones on the front foot.”

After missing most of last season with a knee reconstruction, Toovey has only missed two games this season.

“There’s a few little things I’ve had to work on and improve as the season has gone on – just adjustments from missing a year,” he said.

Special powers used by Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission have led to the arrest of a man over the 2013 murder of Mackay woman Shandee Blackburn.


The 32-year-old unemployed man from Mackay was arrested in Brisbane and charged with murder and robbery on Thursday afternoon.

Ms Blackburn, 23, was walking home from work in the early hours of February 9, 2013, when she was stabbed multiple times.

Early in the investigation, it was revealed Ms Blackburn had been planning a trip to the United States with her boyfriend in the days leading up to her death.

Exactly one week after the attack, Mackay detectives retraced Ms Blackburn’s steps in a late night re-enactment.

“(It) may just jog someone’s memory” detectives said at the time.

Later that month, the 23-year-old was laid to rest with a service at Mackay’s Newhaven Chapel.

In February this year, detectives revealed a vehicle had become central to the case.

They released CCTV images of a white ute from the night of the attack and said the occupant or occupants may be able to assist with the investigation.

On Thursday, police confirmed the arrested man was the owner of the ute.

He was also known to Ms Blackburn, but Detective Inspector Karyn Murphy wouldn’t explain the exact nature of their relationship.

“He certainly came to light early in the investigation,” she told reporters in Brisbane.

The 32-year-old man also appeared before coercive hearings at the Crime and Corruption Commission in the past six months, she said.

Coercive hearings give the commission power to compel witnesses to appear and to override the right to silence and the privilege against self-incrimination.

Det Insp Murphy paid tribute to the work of dozens of officers who’ve been involved in the “long and intense” investigation.

She said police had followed hundreds of lines of inquiry.

Det Insp Murphy also acknowledged the “terrible offence” has had an impact on the Mackay community and said her thoughts were with Ms Blackburn’s family.

“I don’t think I can explain the range of emotions that go through your mind and your body,” her mother Vicki told a media conference.

“You just take a deep breath and try to deal with it.”

Earlier this year, police offered a reward of $250,000 for information that led to the conviction of Ms Blackburn’s killer.

The reward will not be issued.

Shandee Blackburn’s accused murderer will appear in the Brisbane magistrates court on Friday.

By Ian Kerridge, University of Sydney and David Isaacs, University of Sydney

The news that Hamid Kehazaei, a 24-year-old Iranian asylum seeker detained on Manus Island, has been diagnosed as brain dead following his transfer to the Mater Hospital in Brisbane is a tragedy.


That it is a tragedy for this young man and his family is unquestionable – but the extent of this tragedy may be much more pervasive than we realise.

If the emerging details of his case are correct, Kehazaei developed septicaemia as a complication of cellulitis (skin and soft-tissue infection) arising from a cut in his foot. This, in itself, is disturbing.

Severe infection can result in brain death – either from infection of the brain itself (meningitis, encephalitis or brain abscess), or from brain injury due to a lack of oxygen resulting from cardiac arrest (as appears to be the case here), or from reduced blood supply to the brain. Yet it is very uncommon, especially in a young, previously healthy man.

Such a case could occur in Australia and has been described in 2012 in young Indigenous adults in Central Australia. Nevertheless, severe sepsis resulting from a foot infection is preventable. And a case like this occurring in an Australian national would raise serious questions about the appropriateness of the antibiotics used and the timeliness of care.

Most cases of brain death result from traumatic brain injury, stroke or lack of oxygen to the brain following asphyxia, near-drowning, or prolonged cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

What happened to Hamid Kehazaei raises concerns about the adequacy of care provided to him during initial treatment, including wound care and antibiotics, and how soon he was transferred to expert medical care, first to Port Moresby and subsequently to Brisbane.

If this young man became ill and had his brain die while seeking asylum in Australia and while in our care, then we must examine the details of his case and ask ourselves not only whether it was preventable but whether our policies and processes actually contributed to his death.

But how can we even begin to ask these types of questions when we know so little about the circumstances in which he became ill, and his subsequent care?

Protestations that this is due to the necessity of respecting privacy and confidentiality, ethical principles that are core to the health professional-patient relationship, are to some extent correct. But they also obscure important features of this case.

The government is simply wrong to claim that this issue should not be “politicised”. What is ultimately at issue here is the way in which domestic politics and border policy impose norms (rules of behaviour) that are antithetical to medicine and health care and, fundamentally, to democracy.

Medicine, like biomedical science, requires transparency and honesty to be clinically and ethically sound. Peer review, clinical audit, root-cause analysis, family conferences, conflict-resolution strategies, case consultation, multidisciplinary team meetings, mortality and morbidity meetings, open disclosure policies: all rest on the importance of transparency and respect.

In contrast, we know very little about the people who seek asylum in Australia. Everything is secret – their arrival, their situation, their medical need, their illnesses, and their death.

This requirement for secrecy has largely overwhelmed efforts by many good people – legislators, human rights lawyers, refugee advocates, health workers, politicians and ordinary citizens – to shine a light on what is happening to people in detention.

The Immigration Health Advisory Group has been disbanded, restricting the degree to which the health professions can critique the care available to asylum seekers. And even those tasked with providing medical care to asylum-seekers struggle to advocate for the people under their care.

Policies restrict the degree to which they can care for their patients or refer them for specialist care not available in the detention centres. Contracts bind them to secrecy and many, often shocked by what they have seen, are prevented from speaking out by legal threats and intimidation long after they’ve returned to the mainland.

The language of “border control” has been used to excuse political secrecy. But such secrecy is what we usually associate with autocratic governments and is the antithesis of democratic ideals.

What this case illustrates, yet again, is that the asylum seekers detained on Manus and Christmas Islands and Nauru have been excised not only from the laws that determine access to Australia but from the care we should provide any vulnerable person for whom we are responsible. And from the ethical principles upon which medicine and our health system are based.

If we care about these people, and if we truly believe in the humane values that ground medicine and the moral principles that ground democracy, then we need to do two things. The first is to hold a truly independent inquiry into the care of people in detention. And the second is to end off-shore processing.

David Isaacs is head of the Health Assessment for Refugee Kids (HARK) clinic at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Ian Kerridge does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

Fifty-five Greenpeace activists from some 20 countries go on trial in France on Thursday for an audacious break-in at the country’s oldest nuclear power plant to highlight weaknesses at atomic installations.



The March 18 protest at the Fessenheim power plant in eastern France near the border with Germany and Switzerland resulted in the government ordering stronger security at nuclear facilities.


The activists include 21 Germans, seven Italians and others from France, Turkey, Austria, Hungary, Australia and Israel and several other nations.


The court in the eastern French city of Colmar will try and determine whether the Greenpeace members had smashed a metal security gate with their truck to enter the plant or simply broken a lock to get in as they claim.


They will be tried for trespassing and for wilful damage and could be slapped with a prison term of up to five years if convicted.


Those activists from countries outside the European Union’s 26-nation Schengen visa-free travel zone also face a travel ban in France if convicted.


However, protestors staging break-ins at French nuclear installations in the past have got off with six-month suspended prison sentences.


The March dawn protest ended hours later at the plant run by state-run power firm EDF. About 20 activists had managed to get on the dome of one of the reactors but EDF said the safety of the plant had not been compromised.


Later another group of Greenpeace activists put up a giant banner next to the nearby Rhine canal, which read “Future Is Renewable, Stop Nuclear”.


France, the world’s most nuclear-dependent country, operates 58 reactors and has been a leading international proponent of atomic energy.


But in a deal with the Greens before the 2012 parliamentary and presidential elections, President Francois Hollande’s Socialist party promised to cut reliance on nuclear energy from more than 75 percent to 50 percent by shutting 24 reactors by 2025.


Hollande has pledged to close Fessenheim, which was commissioned in 1977, by the end of 2016.


The plant, located on the banks of the Rhine, is considered vulnerable to seismic activity and flooding.


The protest stunt came ahead of a meeting by European leaders to discuss the future of the continent’s energy policy.


Greenpeace wants Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to push Europe towards cleaner energy, complaining that France relies too much on nuclear power and Germany on coal for electricity supplies.


Hollande has repeatedly pledged to develop renewable energy and vowed to improve the energy efficiency of one million homes that are badly insulated.


France plans to reach the EU’s 10 percent renewable energy target by boosting the use of second-generation biofuels, which are made from crop residues, waste, algae or woody material.

It wasn’t Jimmy Anderson, but Australian destroyer Mitchell Johnson has broken the arm of an opponent.


Ryan McLaren, the South African allrounder who is all too familiar with Johnson’s thunderbolts, will miss the rest of the one-day tri-series in Harare after suffering a hairline fracture in his forearm during Tuesday’s loss to Australia.

Back in February’s first Test against the Proteas at Centurion, Johnson struck McLaren in the side of the helmet with a vicious blow which left the 31-year-old bleeding from the ear.

McLaren was admitted to hospital a day later and played no further part in the series.

Now Johnson has sent him back to the medicos for the second time in six months, this time to treat a broken arm.

Last summer, Australian captain Michael Clarke was caught on the stump microphone telling England No.11 Anderson to “get ready for a broken f***ing arm” when Johnson was charging into bowl.

To McLaren’s credit, he batted on bravely through both the headknock at Centurion and now the broken arm in Harare, but you can’t imagine he’s looking forward to facing up to Johnson again come November when the South Africans visit Australia for another one-day series.

“Ryan was taken for X-rays this afternoon after complaining of severe pain following a blow to his right forearm yesterday,” said South African team manager, Dr Mohammed Moosaje.

“The scans revealed a hairline fracture to the bone in the right forearm, which rules him out of action for the next three weeks. He will return back to South Africa on Thursday morning.”

McLaren has been troubled by the same length both times, only the speed and the pace of the wicket in Centurion made the situation far more dangerous.

It might have a few of the Proteas top order more than a little nervous ahead of Saturday’s tri-series final.

Johnson said he knew he had McLaren hopping, and lamented not getting his wicket.

“I probably got a bit carried away when McLaren came in,” said Johnson.

In the opening match against Zimbabwe Johnson smashed the window of the commentary box, shattering glass all over the callers.

And Johnson inadvertently caused Zimbabwean Tinashe Panyangara to be sacked.

The local quick had sent around a picture to teammates on social media on the eve of the match of the Australian quick blasting England’s batsmen, with the message: “Good luck boys.”

Dozens of people held a midday vigil in Brisbane for an asylum seeker believed to be ‘brain dead’, ahead of twilight vigils across the country this evening.


Hamid Kehazaei, 24, was airlifted from Papua New Guinea to Brisbane last week for emergency treatment for a life-threatening skin infection.

Yesterday, refugee advocates claimed Mr Kehazaei had been declared brain dead.

Those attending the Brisbane vigil called for the Manus Island detention centre to be closed.

The vigil, held outside the Mater Hospital, is part of a series of vigils in capital cities across Australia.

More than 1000 people had signed up to an online invitation to join the twilight vigils, organised by various organisations around the country.

Attendance at the vigils sent the hashtag #hamidkehazaei trending on Twitter.

Every candle is evidence a better Australia is possible. #HamidKehazaei, we’re sorry. #LightTheDark pic.twitter广西桑拿,/cwD4X48Kp4

— Brad Chilcott (@bradchilcott) September 4, 2014

#RIP #HamidKehazaei. روحت شاد حمید #asylumseekers #Australia #LightTheDark pic.twitter广西桑拿,/LPOM0o4Ooq

— Sohrab (@Sohrabrustami) September 4, 2014

Mr Kehazaei developed septicaemia from an infection which spread from a cut foot. Septicaemia occurs when disease-causing bacteria enters the bloodstream.

The hospital told his family a legal guardian will be appointed to make the decision about the withdrawal of life support.

Vigil for Iranian asylum seeker Hamid Kehazaei at Brisbane hospital @SBSNews #refugee #manus pic.twitter广西桑拿,/uBJcedQQuX

— Stefan Armbruster (@StefArmbruster) September 4, 2014

Vigil for ‘brain dead’ Iranian asylum seeker Hamid Kehazaei at Brisbane hospital @SBSNews #manus #png #refugee pic.twitter广西桑拿,/dfN2t1TAnh

— Stefan Armbruster (@StefArmbruster) September 4, 2014



Dutch air crash investigators have announced they will release next Tuesday a preliminary report into what brought down flight MH17 over east Ukraine, killing 298 passengers.


“The preliminary report will present factual information based on sources available to the Dutch Safety Board (OVV),” investigators said in a statement on Thursday.

The highly-anticipated first report will be released on the OVV’s website at 10.00am (1800 AEST) on Tuesday, but there will be “no press conference”, it said.

“In the months to come further investigation is needed before the final report is written,” added the OVV, which earlier said it hoped to have a final report “within a year”.

The Netherlands is in charge of probing the crash of the Malaysia airlines Boeing 777, which exploded over strife-torn Ukraine on July 17, killing all on board, including 193 Dutch citizens and 38 Australian nationals and residents.

The West has blamed Russian-backed separatists for shooting down MH17, while Moscow blames Kiev.

Air crash investigators returned to The Hague from Ukraine in early August without being able to visit the crash site due to the deteriorating security situation in the country’s volatile east.

Ukrainian air crash experts – who now form part of the OVV team – did however visit the scene shortly after the crash.

The aircraft’s black boxes were shipped to Farnborough in Britain to be examined by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

The search for body parts, however, has been suspended since early August because of heavy fighting between Kiev and pro-Moscow rebels in the area.

The OVV has already announced that its preliminary report will include not only the black box findings, but also information gathered from satellite and other images, and radar information.

In a question-and-answer section on its website, the OVV posed the question whether it would be publicly releasing the content from the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, which comprise the two black boxes.

The answer given by the board was: “Investigative materials and sources of information used by the OVV in its investigations are protected by law.

“Only information relevant to determining the cause of the MH17 crash will be included in the final report.

“The available investigative information will not be released publicly in their entirety, except for what is published in the final report.”

A senior executive working for a long-time Liberal donor referred to the Free Enterprise Foundation as a “diversionary” organisation, emails obtained by the NSW corruption watchdog reveal.


The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is investigating claims the foundation was used to disguise back-door donations to the NSW Liberal Party in the lead-up to the 2011 election.

Among the high-profile donors under investigation is Nathan Tinkler, who has told the inquiry he believed the foundation was synonymous with the federal Liberal party, not the NSW party.

Property developers have been banned from making political donations in NSW since 2009, but are free to donate at the federal level.

Robert Millner, the chairman of Brickworks, told the ICAC on Thursday that the firm was a long-time Liberal supporter and that in 2010 he was asked to direct donations via the foundation.

“They just asked could we give part of the donation to the Free Enterprise Foundation,” Mr Millner said.

“We’ve been a donor many times before and many times after those dates and I agreed, and I took that proposition back (and) both boards agreed.”

Lindsay Partridge, the managing director of the publicly-listed company, said Brickworks regularly gave donations via the foundation because it was more “discreet” than handing money straight to the Liberal Party.

“It kept it out of the press’s eyes until after the official declaration was done, which was usually after the election,” Mr Partridge told the inquiry.

“Giving money to the Liberal Party was like giving a hot chip to a bunch of seagulls.

“The seagull that’s got the chip in its mouth doesn’t necessarily get to eat it.”

One email he sent on July 29, 2010 to senior NSW Liberal fundraiser Paul Nicolaou makes direct reference to a $50,000 donation for the state.

“Via the diversionary organization there is $50 for NSW, $250k in total,” Mr Partridge wrote to Mr Nicolaou, who was then running the NSW Liberal Party’s fundraising arm, the Millennium Forum.

He said it wasn’t till 2011 that he began asking his staff questions about NSW legislation restricting political donations “to see whether it affected us as such”.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has met for over two hours with Palestinian negotiators for “constructive” talks on future relations with Israel, a US official says.


The talks come just days after Israel announced its biggest grab of Palestinian land since the 1980s, and as a new showdown looms at the United Nations with the increasingly frustrated Palestinians planning to push a resolution setting a three-year deadline to end the Israeli occupation.

It was Kerry’s first face-to-face talks with Palestinian negotiators since the US found itself sidelined from the Gaza ceasefire talks in July, when the top US diplomat failed to broker a truce in the war between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

“Kerry met with Saeb Erekat and Majid Faraj for about two hours this afternoon,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

“It was a constructive conversation that covered a range of issues, including Gaza, Israeli-Palestinian relations, and recent developments in the region,” she said, adding they had agreed to talk again in coming weeks.

Kerry had also spoken on Tuesday by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, when he expressed his concerns about new Israeli plans to confiscate about 400 hectares of land in the occupied West Bank for settlement building.

The US has called on Israel to reverse the decision.

State Department officials say the Palestinians had requested Wednesday’s meeting “to brief the secretary on current Palestinian plans on the way forward and next steps in Gaza”.

More than 2100 Palestinians were killed in Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip, nearly 70 per cent of them civilians, which ended last week with an open-ended ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militant groups, brokered by Egypt.

A Queensland woman who was bashed and robbed in a sleepy island town by young men she knew is still too scared to leave her house.


It’s been more than two years since Stradbroke Island couple Brian and Hetty Conlon’s post office and adjoining home were razed by fire and Mrs Conlon was kicked in the head during a violent robbery.

Five men charged over the July 21, 2012, incident at Dunwich appeared in the District Court in Brisbane on Thursday for sentencing.

The Conlons weren’t there because Mrs Conlon was still too traumatised by the cowardly attack, crown prosecutor Ron Swanwick told the court.

Her husband’s victim impact statement said the couple had put their business on the market because Mrs Conlon no longer felt safe in the town.

“She’s now constantly afraid of several young adolescent males that roam the streets of our township with no parental control,” he said in the statement read by Mr Swanwick.

“She no longer ventures into the main shopping area of the town for fear of meeting these people.”

The attack sent shock waves through the community and widened racial divides in Dunwich, home to a large indigenous community to which the offenders belong.

Tiege Lanczy Kalen Burns, 26, Tama Moearara Teoting Edwards, 25, Jacob Warren Martin, 20, Hunter Gabriel Murray-Costelloe, 19, and Bruce Issiah Walker, 20, must wait until Monday to learn their punishment after Judge Terence Martin reserved his judgment.

The court heard the gang was high on ice, cannabis and alcohol when they hatched the plot to set fire to a school in the early hours and lure Mr Conlon, a citizen firefighter, from his house.

With faces masked, Burns, Edwards, Murray-Costelloe and another man, Michael Coghill, broke into the home and forced the terrified Mrs Conlon, 45, to open the post office safe.

As the gang made off with about $23,000 in notes and coins, Murray-Costelloe kicked the slightly built, Indonesian-born woman hard in the side of her face and Burns used petrol to torch the house.

Mrs Conlon escaped, but suffered serious injuries to her face and eye from the attack, which Mr Swanwick said started out as “a nasty version of a Secret Seven adventure”, but ended as a “heavy duty crime”.

Coghill was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment last year.

Burns, Murray-Costelloe, Edwards and Walker have pleaded guilty to robbery and arson-related charges, while Murray-Costelloe has also pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm.

Martin has pleaded guilty to damaging evidence.

Their respective barristers told the court the men were sorry for their crime, with several submitting that substance addictions played a role.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles looks north for a population top-up and south for a business influx, and says his reliant state is on the path to pulling its own weight.


Investment in key infrastructure is needed to unlock the territory’s potential, he also says, and to support the growth of industries which underpin neighbouring states.

“It’s weird when you think about the mining and development that has occurred in WA and Queensland … I’m no geologist, but I’m sure that there are rocks and hydrocarbons that flow beyond those borders,” Mr Giles told AAP.

“We need to transition ourselves from a receiver of commonwealth money to producing our own income, on a broader scale than what we already do, so we can contribute to the rest of the nation.

“To do that you need to be able open the country up – support mining, agriculture and horticulture and other developments … otherwise you continue to be a mendicant (begging) state with your hand out.”

Mr Giles supports creating a new economic zone for the NT, but says investment in missing transport and other infrastructure could deliver an earlier economic boost.

Projects include an Alice Springs to Moomba gas pipeline, Tanami Road connecting Alice Springs to Halls Creek and a rail link from Mt Isa to Tennant Creek. Telecommunications were also vital.

Mr Giles spoke after a meeting with business leaders in Melbourne. His investment roadshow has also touched down in Sydney and will next visit Brisbane and Perth.

“We want to sell the message of who the NT is, what we’ve got to offer and we want investment from Australia,” he said.

“We are actively encouraging investment from overseas, from Asia, but – fundamentally – we want Australia to invest in Australia.”

A parliamentary report on the development of northern Australia, also released on Thursday, said university graduates could have their HELP debt wiped if they moved to the region to start their careers.

Mr Giles said past schemes aimed at encouraging Australians to relocate were under-subscribed and the NT should instead boost its attractiveness as an educational hub for Asian students.

“Four hours to the south of Darwin there are six major cities … and 23 million people,” Mr Giles said.

“You look four hours north you’ve got eight capital cities of nations, 36 trading ports and 69 international airports and half-a-billion people.”


* Wipe off HELP debt for graduates who move to remote northern locations

* Relocate public service and defence assets to the north

* Appoint a federal northern Australia minister

* Create special economic zones

* Upgrade key roads

* Develop climate change impact planning process

* Improve access to high-speed broadband