The assault on Abbott's north face

Fierce criticism of Tony Abbott's development plan is completely detached from the critical role outback regions play in Australia's prosperity.

The response to Tony Abbott's half-formed plan to develop northern Australia has been breathtaking – for all the wrong reasons.

As suggested yesterday, the politics of the plan were always bound to be difficult, but made much worse by the fact that it was leaked to a newspaper while still in its formative stage (In praise of Abbott's great leap northward, February 7).

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