Australia’s Northern Territory reveals push to become economic “comeback capital”

Xinhua News Agency | May 23, 2020 at 9:10 AM

CANBERRA, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Australia's Northern Territory (NT) has announced a push to become the country's economic "comeback capital" in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Michael Gunner, chief minister of the NT, on Friday announced the establishment of the Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission (TERC).

He hoped the commission, which will consist of bureaucrats, former politicians, business leaders and academics, can help the NT add 35,000 jobs and become a 40-billion-Australian-dollar (26.1 billion U.S. dollars) economy within 10 years.

"This is a moment in time, an opportunity for us to grasp to recover, rebuild and rebound to be a jobs first economy," Gunner said.

"We are back in business and back to work before the rest of Australia, we have the best natural resources in Australia... the territory can be Australia's comeback capital."

The NT has the weakest economy out of Australia's eight states and territories with a gross state product (GSP) of 26.2 billion Australian dollars (17.1 billion U.S. dollars) in financial year 2018-19.

According to health authorities of NT, as of Saturday there have been 30 confirmed cases of COVID-19, all of which have recovered.

But Gunner warned on Thursday that the "fight was not over yet."

"The battle against COVID-19 has been incredibly difficult so far. Territorians have sacrificed a lot. Businesses have had to shut down. And our frontline workers continue to put themselves at risk and work around the clock to keep the rest of us safe."

The TERC will deliver its final report in November.