The Northern Territory will become the base for providing food and energy services to Asia, says Adam Giles, chief minister of the Northern Territory.

In a conference held in Darwin, Giles told The Australian that his government has developed a policy regarding exploration licenses. This ensures that mining and energy projects will proceed and eventually transform Darwin into Asia’s food and energy service base. Free land and no environmental appeal rights also make the proposal a good deal.

Giles added that due to Asia’s increasing population, food and energy in the Northern Territory will be in high demand. Asia’s middle class is expected to rise to 3.2 billion people in 2030, with a 200% increase in incomes. This means demand for food will increase by 70%. As a result, the Territory’s beef industry can be further developed to cater for the growing demand and population.

However, according to Stuart Blanch, coordinator of the Environment Centre NT, the Northern Territory should look at sustainable development options in renewable energy to ensure the plan is a success.