The Morrison government’s groundbreaking AUKUS agreement has the potential to accelerate the transformation of the Northern Territory from strategic backwater to vital alliance hub.
It won’t be realised without an integrated plan to leverage increased investment in the Territory’s defence infrastructure to strengthen allied capacity and reach.
There is little time to waste, or margin for error, as strategic competition in the region heats up and the balance of power shifts in favour of states that don’t share our interests or values.
Our alliance with the US, and other like-minded countries, is a potent military and diplomatic multiplier for Australia. But previous levels of defence co-operation and interoperability are no longer sufficient.