‘I’m not doing it’: Minister won’t buy back Darwin Port
CHIEF Minister Michael Gunner would not buy back the Port of Darwin from its Chinese-owned lessee even if he had the $500 million to do it, saying he would rather spend it on job creating projects.
Increasing tensions between Australia and China has renewed calls, including from Federal MPs, for the Port of Darwin to be brought back into government hands.
Chinese company Landbridge was sold a 99-year lease of the Port of Darwin for $506 million in 2015, under the watch of then CLP Chief Minister Adam Giles.
Mr Gunner, when asked on Friday if he would consider buying back the asset, said he would not spend $500 million of taxpayers' money to buy back the port.
"I'm not doing it," he said.
"If I've got $500 million of taxpayers' money to play with I'd spend it on things that will create jobs for Territorians.
"My advice for the Prime Minister, if he's going to go down that path is, don't buy back the port, invest in things that will grow jobs for the Territory."
Mr Gunner said he didn't agree with leasing out the port in 2015, but "it's done".
Originally published as 'I'm not doing it': Chief Minister won't buy back Darwin Port