In the face of the prospect of the $9 billion project’s collapse, the federal government is set to announce a $1 billion boost to the fence next week.
The Government will also pay for a $200 million upgrade of the barrier along the northern boundary of the Great Barrier Reef.
But the upgrade is unlikely to begin until after the next federal election, as the government has been forced to abandon plans for a second barrier along Queensland’s coast.
It is also set to be scrapped in a move to keep Australia’s border under tight control.
The federal government’s plan to build the $2.4 billion fence in the Northern Territory has been met with widespread opposition and widespread criticism, including by a group of Indigenous people who claim the land is sacred and their ancestors have lived along the border for millennia.
The Indigenous group has said it has “no right to take the land”.
It has also called for a royal commission into the land claims.
A recent report by a Senate inquiry into the Northern Territorians decision to build a fence also revealed that Indigenous leaders had warned of dire consequences if the fence was not completed.
But Indigenous Affairs Minister Paul Fletcher told the Senate committee that the Government had a plan in place to finish the fence and “there’s no reason we can’t do it”.
The fence will cost $2 billion, but will not cost as much as the $900 million in federal funding already allocated to the border project.
But it will be funded by $200m from a $2-billion boost in funding for the Great Australian Barrier Reef (GABR).
The Government has also set aside $200,000 for the Northern Aboriginal Cultural Resource Centre in Manly, which will run for a year from June.
This includes $300,000 to purchase a building for the centre and $30,000 towards the purchase of the site for a permanent Aboriginal Cultural Centre in the community of Manly.