Archival research for this article was funded by a Northern Territory History Grant. I thank the Northern Territory Archives Service for their generosity.
Developing the North, Defending the Nation? The Northern Australia Development Committee, 1945–1949*
Article first published online: 14 MAR 2013
© 2013 The Author. Australian Journal of Politics and History © 2013 School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, School of Political Science and International Studies, The University of Queensland and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.
Australian Journal of Politics & History
Volume 59, Issue 1, pages 33–46, March 2013
How to Cite
McGregor, R. (2013), Developing the North, Defending the Nation? The Northern Australia Development Committee, 1945–1949. Australian Journal of Politics & History, 59: 33–46. doi: 10.1111/ajph.12002
- Issue published online: 14 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 14 MAR 2013
The Northern Australia Development Committee (NADC) was established in late 1945 to coordinate the efforts of the Commonwealth, Queensland and Western Australian governments in developing the north of the continent. At the outset, defence considerations were uppermost. However, the NADC soon became entangled in disputes among Commonwealth departments and personalities over the relevance of northern development to national defence. Some — notably the Department of Defence — insisted that northern Australia no longer possessed special strategic significance. Others — notably the Department of External Affairs — argued that northern development must be conceived within a broader geo-political context. This paper examines the NADC's entanglement in these disputes, and explains how this entanglement contributed crucially to the committee's ineffectualness and early demise.