On 18 June 2015, the Government released Our North, Our Future – the first ever White Paper on Developing Northern Australia. The White Paper is a vision—and a plan—to unlock the great potential and opportunities of the north – because a strong north means a strong nation. It delivers an initial investment of $1.2 billion – in addition to $5 billion for the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, which will provide concessional loans for infrastructure projects. The White Paper focuses on improving priority roads, developing water resources, removing red tape, building a sustainable workforce and ensuring effective governance arrangements.
The Office of Northern Australia (ONA) was established in 2009 to be a source of expertise and advice on northern Australia and to advocate for the north in Canberra. ONA now has the important role of assisting the Ministers for Northern Australia to coordinate implementation of the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia and providing the Government with sound policy advice and analysis on future initiatives to support the development of northern Australia.