Local News

Little joy for the NT in federal budget

MICHAEL GUNNER MALCOLM TURNBULL AAP DARWIN

The Northern Territory is likely to feel slighted by the federal government with little new money coming its way in Tuesday's budget.

The NT Labor government had hoped Canberra would cough up more cash to develop the north, close the gap and invest in defence infrastructure.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner had a long federal budget wishlist, with money for job-creating projects and improvements outcomes in indigenous education, health and housing at the top.

"We expect the federal government to acknowledge the serious level of disadvantage we have in the Northern Territory, to understand the costs associated with delivering services to remote locations (and) the limitations we have to growing own source revenue," Mr Gunner said last week.

The NT would lose about $385 million in GST revenue next financial year and needed new infrastructure spending, he said.

But Tuesday's budget revealed very little in new spending for the Northern Territory.

The territory, which has a large indigenous population, will receive a cut of the $55.7 million the commonwealth has committed over five years to help improve the job prospects for indigenous Australians across the country.

Likewise, the commonwealth is providing $3.6 billion over four years from 2017/18 to Indigenous Australians' Health program to improve effective health care services in areas of need.

© AAP

IMAGE AAP/Lucy Hughes Jones. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner attend the 75th anniversary of the Darwin bombing memorial on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017