Wednesday, 28 October 2020 Sydney

NORTHERN TERRITORY AND DARWIN - Investment Destination Profile::

The Northern Territory (NT) comprises a land area of 1 346 200 km2. It is the third largest of the states and territories after Western Australia and Queensland, yet has the smallest population and lowest

The Northern Territory (NT) comprises a land area of 1 346 200 km2. It is the third largest of the states and territories after Western Australia and Queensland, yet has the smallest population and lowest population density. The largest city in the NT is Darwin, located on the northern coast, 12 degrees below the equator. Darwin is as close to Singapore and Manila as it is to Sydney and Melbourne.

Darwin city is the commercial and administrative centre of the Territory. Alice Springs is the largest population centre outside Darwin and is the base for significant tourism activities in the central region. Mining, tourism and defense are major contributors to the NT economy.



For the 2007-2008 period, Northern Territory’s Gross State Product totaled $14 555M.




Major Companies/Employers Located in The Northern Territory

The Northern Territory Government

Ranger Uranium

Vista Gold Australia

Australian Defense Force




In the 2007-2008 period, Northern Territory’s Gross State Product increased by 3.9%.



Key investment areas include:

Arts, Entertainment & Film

The Northern Territory provides filmmakers with outstanding attractions and locations due to the diversity of the landscape. The Territory has everything from the dry desert plains of the red centre dotted with magnificent sandstone and rock ranges scattered with gorges and often dry rivers, to the tropical rainforests and plains of the Top End with an abundance of waterfalls, rivers, gorges, lakes and beautiful coastline.

The Territory also offers filmmakers world-class accommodation at many of the major centers including Darwin, Katherine, Nhulunbuy, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs and Yulara.

Bioresources & Biotechnology

Australia’s Northern Territory’s unique biodiversity, coupled with attractive policies and legislation, provides the Territory with a strong point of differentiation.


Construction is one of the major sectors of the Northern Territory economy and a major contributor to Gross State Product.

Defense and Security

Defense is an important contributor to the NT economy with recurrent expenditure of $1.26 billion in 2008-09, equivalent to 7.9% of the Territory’s state final demand.

Education Exports

International education is considered to be one of Australia’s largest exports, ranked third in earnings behind coal and iron ore. In the Northern Territory, the value of international education to services exports has increased by 70 per cent to $22 million over five years (from 2003-04 to 2007-08).


The seas, inshore areas and waterways of the Northern Territory (NT) hold an abundance of aquatic life and are underpinned by the relatively pristine nature of much of the NT’s environment. As a result, the harvesting of resources from the aquatic environment continues to contribute strongly to both the economic and social development of the NT.

Information and Communications Technology

As in other Australian jurisdictions, ICT is a major driver of productivity growth. The Northern Territory ICT industry has the skills and capability to service all business sectors. As an enabler to government, industry and community, ICT has a critical impact on the economic and social well being of society.


Mining is the single most significant contributor of Gross State Product (GSP), accounting for 23.6% of GSP in 2007-08 and directly employing more than 3,300 people.


Retail trade is a healthy sector, providing 13% of the Northern Territory’s jobs as at November 2008. The continued growth of tourism and major construction projects has boosted consumption and retail turnover since late 2001.



Australia’s Northern Territory is dynamic and progressive.  Strategically positioned close to South East Asia, rich in unique natural attractions and culturally diverse, the Territory should be seriously considered by investors wanting to expand their tourism portfolios.



Australia’s Foreign Direct Investment policy is as follows:

  • An investor’s operations are independent from the relevant foreign government.
  • An investor is subject to and adheres to the law and observes common standards of business behavior.
  • An investment may not hinder competition or lead to undue concentration or control in the industries or sectors concerned.
  • An investment must be taxed on the same basis as other commercial entities.
  • The Government considers the extent to which investments might affect Australia’s ability to protect its strategic and security interests.
  • The Government considers the extent of Australian participation in ownership, control and management of an enterprise that would remain after a foreign investment, including the interests of employees, creditors and other stakeholders.



Investment incentives are numerous in NT and include:


Grants, Funding and Rebates

  • GrantsLINK which finds suitable and relevant grants for community projects from the many Commonwealth grants that are available
  • Renewable Energy Rebate Program which is available to those living in a remote, off-grid area who install a renewable power system
  • Regional Economic Development Fund provides funding for locally based regional development initiatives.

Trade Support Scheme

The Trade Support Scheme aims to build stronger trading partnerships and create new export opportunities. It provides Northern Territory based organizations with financial help to offset the costs of international marketing activities.

NT Pastoral Water Enhancement Scheme

The Pastoral Water Enhancement Scheme enhances land and water resource management on pastoral properties by encouraging sound planning of stock watering facilities through the provision of technical advice and financial support. Assistance measures will enable the development of new water supplies and water storage facilities through reticulation or capacity upgrades.



The Federal Government could consider the provision of investment incentives to strategic investment projects in limited and special circumstances where the project would generate significant net economic and employment benefits for Australia. Incentives could include grants, tax relief or the provision of infrastructure services. Incentives are considered by the Australian Government on a case-by-case basis, using the following criteria:

  • The investment would not be likely to occur in Australia without the incentive
  • The investment provides significant net economic benefits through:
    • Substantial increase in employment
    • Substantial business investment
    • Significant boost to Australia's R&D capacity
    • Significant benefit to, or investment by other industries, either users or suppliers (cluster investment) 





There are many reasons to invest in the Northern Territory.

Sound Economic Base

Economic stability in the Territory over the next decade will be ensured by:

  • Major construction projects.
  • Recognition as an international gas hub.
  • Growing pastoral and horticulture sectors.
  • Numerous mineral discoveries.
  • Developing trade gateway to the Asia region.


Asia’s Gateway with Australia

Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory, is the closest Australian capital city to Asia, providing the shortest transport routes for two-way trade between the Asian economies and Australia. The Northern Territory has two international airports with Darwin Airport operating 24/7. The deep water Port of Darwin provides modern freight handling facilities, a dedicated bulk liquids berth and links with an inter-modal road rail network. The Northern Territory is within a 2-hour time zone of major Asian cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Manila, Seoul, and Tokyo.

Stable Government and Financial Environment

Stable Government and Financial Environment

The quality of governance in Australia is among the best in the world. This is a draw for multinationals expanding their businesses or considering Australia as regional base, as strong governance is considered a key to economic growth and security. The Northern Territory has no land tax and offers the lowest payroll tax regime within any Australian jurisdiction.

Dedicated Investment Support


Dedicated Investment Support

The Northern Territory Government supports potential investors by providing a coordinated approach to investment opportunities. This flexible yet robust system allows strategic decisions to be considered quickly and comprehensively. 

Highly Skilled Multi-lingual Workforce

Highly Skilled Multi-lingual Workforce

The Northern Territory has many cultures and languages, predominantly from Europe and the Asia Pacific region. This allows easy interaction between government and business. The Northern Territory also possesses the youngest average age workforce in Australia.



According to InvestNT:

  • The Northern Territory is a sought after film location and doubles for many parts of the world, including Africa, North America and Mars.

  • Despite its small population, the Territory is also home to a sophisticated research community. This includes Charles Darwin University, the Menzies School of Health Research, research facilities of the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and the Bioscience North Australia consortium.

  • New Defense platforms and technologies are based in the Top End including:

                        - 17 of Australia’s 22 Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters

                        - 10 of Australia’s 14 Armidale Class Patrol Boats

                        - 41 of Australia’s 59 Abrams main Battle Tanks.

  • The combined Australian Defense Force presence in the Northern Territory, including families, represents approximately 6% of the Northern Territory population.

  • There are opportunities for prospective developers to participate in the growth of the Northern Territory’s construction industry and for private investors to add to their real estate portfolio.



Skills Shortages: Continued economic growth has produced skills shortages in the following professions:

  • Business and Information
  • Health Care
  • Science, Building and Engineering
  • Education

Demographic Trends: The Northern Territory possesses the youngest average age workforce in Australia.

Current Investment Opportunities in Australia:

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