Rudd said if elected his Labor government would back a NT Government economic strategy that included a 20 per cent company tax in the territory, 10 per cent less than the states.

The plan would involve making the Top End a special economic zone by 2018, with its own rules when it comes to foreign investment.

“I think it would be great to have a company tax rate here one-third lower than the rest of the country … the explicit objective is to attract more direct investment to the territory for territory-based businesses,” he told reporters in Darwin.

The Coalition’s “northern Australia 2030 vision” was released in February and included special economic zones and tax variations as key components.

Labor said the strategy was sucking up to mining giants such as Gina Rinehart.

Ousted Prime Minister Julia Gillard said they were “ideas that actually don’t even pass the laugh test”.

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