Creating Jobs & Growing the Economy


The Northern Territory Government is committed to 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 for electricity supplied to Territory households and businesses, while at the same time ensuring secure and reliable electricity is available at the least cost to consumers and taxpayers.

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We have a vision that by 2030 the Territory will be a world-class gas production, manufacturing and services hub.
Growing the Territory's gas service and supply industry and maximising local content is key to building a vibrant and resilient economy.

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Vision: By 2030, the Territory is a world-class gas production, manufacturing and services hub.

Darwin is home to a globally significant liquefied natural gas (LNG) export hub. The Darwin LNG and Ichthys LNG projects supply over 10% of Japan’s annual global gas imports.

The Northern Territory (NT) has developed the local infrastructure and expertise required to support high calibre projects, including the US$37 billion INPEX-led Ichthys LNG Project, the US$5 billion ConocoPhillips-led Darwin LNG Project and the $800 million Jemena Northern Gas Pipeline.

The Territory Government is committed to achieving its vision for a world-class gas production, manufacturing and services through its five point plan to:

  • Gas to expand the LNG hub could be sourced from offshore reserves, onshore gas developments, or both.
  • Land is secured for five additional trains - one at Darwin LNG and four at Ichthys LNG.

  • The Territory Government has invested in dedicated infrastructure at the East Arm Logistics Precinct to support offshore projects.
  • Opportunities to support the offshore gas industry, including the operations of Darwin LNG, Ichthys LNG and Prelude FLNG.
  • Opportunities to support the development of the onshore industry, particularly shale gas.
  • The Territory Government is partnering with operators and the Industry Capability Network Northern Territory to identify opportunities to grow the local service and supply industry.

  • Opportunities exist for methane-based products, energy intensive industries, condensate refining and production of ethane-based products.
  • Early opportunities from offshore gas fields lend themselves to methane-based products.
  • Future opportunities from onshore gas fields may expand opportunities to include ethane-based petrochemicals.
  • Land is available for gas-based manufacturing industries near existing LNG facilities.

  • Opportunities for strategic engagement and partnerships with Charles Darwin University, including through the North Australian Centre for Oil and Gas, the Advanced Manufacturing Alliance, and vocational education and training.

  • Proven large-scale offshore gas reserves and highly-promising onshore resources of global significance can contribute to national energy security, and supply gas to Australia's east coast markets.

Dr. Alan Dupont AO

The Northern Territory (NT) Government supports the activities of the NT Defence and National Security Advocate Dr. Alan Dupont AO to promote our capabilities and capacity.

The NT has a critical role in Australia’s national security, including: energy, resources, maritime, biosecurity, economic and trade, immigration, military and border security. Darwin is also the regional hub for Australia’s international engagement and trade.

The NT defence economy is considered to cover the impacts of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) operational and training activities, manufacturing, supply and support for those activities and the broader economic effect of Defence personnel and their families living and visiting the NT. Other aspects of Australia’s national security have similarly important, albeit lesser, impact on the NT economy.

The 2020 Australian Defence Strategic Update and ongoing focus on maximising Australian industry involvement in Defence capability projects will create new opportunities in the Northern Territory over the coming decade and beyond. The Update has a projected investment into Defence of $270 billion over the next 10 years that will take annual defence spending beyond the 2 per cent of GDP committed to in 2013. This has significant implications for the Territory as the government re-prioritises the ADF's geographical focus on the immediate region.

To ensure that the NT is at the forefront of northern Australia’s contribution to a more prosperous and secure Australia, the NT Government will have a consistent presence in Canberra, the NT Defence and National Security Advocate. The NT advocate assists the NT in gaining the attention of influence with the Australian Government, the Department of Defence and defence support industries, the Australian Government national security and foreign military forces.

The Northern Territory (NT) Government is focused on attracting new investment in regional areas.

Regional areas of the NT offer economic opportunities in mineral and energy resources, tourism, and agricultural products such as meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables, crops, forestry and ornamental plants.

The potential commercial benefit from native flora and fauna, food and medicines is largely untapped.

The Department of the Chief Minister is helping to create new economic opportunities by doing all of the following:

  • strengthening relationships between private enterprise and government through the NT Regional Development Framework (see below)
  • financial support through the Regional Economic Development Fund
  • supporting regional economic development committees to give advice to government on local needs
  • providing NT regional economic profiles to attract investment
  • managing selected projects to maximise investment opportunities.

Go to the Northern Territory Government website to read more about the Regional Economic Development Fund.

Northern Territory Regional Development Framework

The Northern Territory Regional Development Framework gives local communities the opportunity to drive their own development goals and ideas and contribute to government decisions that affect their region.

The Regional Development Framework includes:

  • five regional economic development committees in Nhulunbuy, Katherine, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and the Tiwi Islands
  • a Regional Development Senior Office Group made up of senior representatives from government agencies.

About the Regional Development Senior Office Group

The group is chaired by a representative from the Department of Regional Development and Women’s Policy.

The group advises on regional development initiatives across the NT.

They make sure information from the regional economic development committees is communicated to government agencies.

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The Territory Government is securing the investments needed to create the jobs of today and to guarantee permanent, ongoing jobs of tomorrow.

We have been doing this by focussing on the strengths of the Territory - the competitive advantage of its location, the culture, the history and the people.

Get the Investment timeline PDF (4.3 MB)

For an alternative version of the above document call 08 8999 5091 or email

Major projects are significant contributors to the economic development of the Northern Territory (NT) including through the creation of jobs and business opportunities.

These projects may be either:

  • private sector initiated projects, or
  • government facilitated projects.

The Investment Territory team in the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade leads the coordination, development and implementation of whole-of-government policies, strategies and major projects that drive diversity, productivity, development and participation in the NT economy.

The NT already has a track record of securing investment from proponents who look beyond the short term for significant investment opportunities.

Some of the world’s largest resource projects are located in the NT, including the $37 billion INPEX-led Ichthys LNG project.

The NT Government awards major project status to private sector initiated projects that are significant, complex and have strategic impact.

In early 2017, the NT Government reviewed and updated the major project status policy framework following a comprehensive consultative process. The revised framework sets out the process and requirements for major project status.

The objectives of the major project status are to:

  • attract and promote secure private sector investment to broaden and deepen the NT economy, and
  • assist the timely and effective delivery of major projects through efficient and consistent government processes.

For the project proponent, the benefits of major project status include whole of government support, coordination and facilitation, assistance in identifying and mapping regulatory approvals, a dedicated project case manager and facilitation of engagement with the Australian Government through a central and single point of contact.

The benefits of major projects for the NT include:

  • local business engagement in the project
  • attraction of new business to the NT
  • skills development and jobs for Territorians
  • expansion of the investor pool.

Since 2001, the NT has adopted a case management approach for projects that have been awarded major project status.

The major project status policy framework sets out the information government requires to assess applications for major project status.

Project proponents should familiarise themselves with the information required before submitting an application for major project status. Read more about the major project status policy framework.

For enquiries relating to major project status, contact Investment Territory by phone 08 8999 1385 or email

The following private sector initiated projects currently have major project status:

  • Alice Springs Hospital Accommodation – Whittaker Street Developments
  • Ammaroo Phosphate – Verdant Minerals Limited
  • Australia ASEAN Power Link – Sun Cable Pty Limited
  • Berrimah Farm redevelopment (Northcrest) – Halikos Group
  • Jervois Copper-Silver-Gold Project – KGL Resources Limited
  • Molyhil Tungsten and Molybdenum Project – Thor Mining PLC
  • Mount Peake Mine and Metals Processing Facility – TNG Limited
  • Mount Todd Gold Mine – Vista Gold
  • Nolan's Bore Rare Earths – Arafura Resources Limited
  • Petrel Gas Project – Neptune Energy
  • Project Sea Dragon – Seafarms Group Limited.

Aerial view of Alice Springs with the MacDonnell Ranges in background

The AEC Group Pty Ltd (AEC) has completed its investigations on behalf of government around suitability of a proposed new tourism / commercial development in the Alice Springs region.

In early 2017 the Chief Minister indicated preparedness to provide land in Alice Springs through an expression of interest process for a potential tourism or commercial venture. The AEC looked into appropriate sites for the project, scoped scale, size and configuration plus provided advice on commercial and financial considerations for the proposed development.

The NT Government is currently working through site recommendations and working with stakeholders with a view to nominating a site as part of a future competitive market process.

The competitive market process will likely involve an initial expression of interest process to identify suitably qualified parties who may then be invited to prepare detailed proposals.

All enquiries should be directed to the project team at

In the period July to September 2020 the Northern Territory (NT) Government sought expressions of interest (EOI) from suitably qualified and experienced parties (proponents) to develop and operate data centres in Darwin.

Submissions are now closed.

The NT Government has identified a site in the suburb of Wishart that is available for the purpose of construction of a data centre or data centres. The site has flexible land parcels with ample land for expansion. Up to 100MW of power can be supplied at the site over the development period.

The government is also willing to work with proponents on bespoke solutions with a strategic need or individual power requirements above 100MW.

Watch an overview of the Darwin data centre opportunities.

View the transcript for the Darwin data centre EOI.


The EOI's are currently subject to assessment.

Environmental Approvals

Public comment is invited on the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project, which is now available on the NT Environment Protection Authority website.  Interested persons and organisations are invited to make written comments to the NT EPA by 14 January 2022.

Written submissions can be made through the NTEPA website, or posted to Environmental Assessments, Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority, GPO Box 3675, Darwin NT 0801.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Referral for the project has been submitted with invitation for public comment now closed. You can still view the referral via the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment website.


Stage 2 of the procurement phase is now complete with two tenderers shortlisted for the third and final procurement phase of the project. Territoria Civil and the Clough-BMD Joint Venture have successfully progressed to the Design Development Phase. The companies will each deliver crucial design and development work over coming months to ensure the ship lift is primed to build and grow a thriving marine service and supply sector in the Territory. The selection of the companies with deep local experience proves the Territory has the capacity to deliver world-class projects, which will attract global expertise to further benefit the Territory.

The Northern Territory Government thanks McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust) Pty Ltd, Watpac Construction Pty Ltd and Sitzler Pty Ltd for their participation in the Expression of Interest and Request for Proposal stages of the project.


The NT Government is building the largest ship lift in Northern Australia. The Darwin Ship Lift Facility will enable the maintenance and servicing of Defence and Australian Border Force vessels, along with commercial and private vessels, including from the oil, gas and marine industries.

The Darwin Ship Lift Facility will be designed to meet the needs of the general maritime sector and the current and long-term needs of the Department of Defence and the Australian Border Force, while supporting local jobs and economic growth in the Territory.

Once operational the facility will be a catalyst for the development of a marine maintenance and servicing industry, and the creation of many new jobs.

The common user ship lift facility will include:

  • a ship lift 26m wide, 103m long and 6m deep
  • lifting capability of 5,000 tonnes
  • wet berths (wharves)
  • additional hard stand area for ship repair and maintenance works.

The ship lift will have the capacity to lift vessels such as the new fleet of offshore patrol vessels procured by the Australian Defence Force.

The Darwin Ship Lift Facility will be a common user facility, which will enable vessel owners to choose and manage their own service and maintenance providers. This will also enable multiple providers to operate concurrently at the facility.

The ship lift is a common user facility that will operate on a commercial basis. There will be a legislated open access regime to ensure fair and equal use for all customers. Pricing and access will be overseen by the independent Utilities Commission. Construction is anticipated to take two years, becoming operational in 2024.

Contact details for the shortlisted participants in the Design Development Phase are available on the ICN NT Gateway project page. Suppliers are encouraged to register their interest via the ICN NT database to receive updates / notifications on upcoming activities for the project. To register your interest, go to the ICN NT Gateway.

For general enquiries regarding the project email

Concept image of the ship liftConcept image of the ship liftConcept image of the ship liftConcept image of the ship liftConcept image of the ship liftConcept image of the ship lift

The Mount Isa to Tennant Creek Railway Project aims to link the existing Tarcoola to Darwin railway with the Great Northern Line operating from Mount Isa to Townsville.

The Northern Territory (NT) Government considers a rail link connecting the NT to north-western Queensland as critical for regional and national economic development and the creation of regional employment opportunities.

The project will provide rail connectivity through the Darwin to Townsville economic corridor and support the development of phosphate, agriculture, gas / liquids and other mineral exports along the rail corridor.

Prefeasibility studies

The NT, Queensland and Australian governments have commissioned preliminary investigations to understand the economic, commercial, technical, environmental and engineering requirements that may need to be addressed as part of any future development of the railway as part of the Darwin to Townsville  transport corridor.

The studies comprise the Strategic Options Paper and the Technical Assessment Program and are available on the Australian Government's Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities website.


Current work to support the project is focused on developing a more comprehensive understanding of the economic potential of the Barkly region through early-stage resources studies.

This includes:

  • Pre-competitive geoscience information being collected by the Australian and Northern Territory governments under the AU$100 million Exploring for the Future program. For further information go to the Australian Government's Exploring for the Future website.
  • Assessments of land capability, water availability and biodiversity assets by the NT Government to support land planning, reduce investment decision risk and encourage private sector investment. Land and capability studies are in various stages of development for the Barkly Tableland (Frewena), Tennant Creek West, Dunmarra, North Barkly and Western Davenport areas. For further information go to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources website.

The release of new geoscience and land capability information should generate new exploration and resource discoveries and unlock new investment opportunities in the region that could underpin future demand for the railway.

Map of Australia highlight the Northern Territory and proposed railway line from Mt Isa to Tennant Creek.


Email for general enquiries.

Like the rest of Australia, the Northern Territory (NT) is experiencing an increase in the proportion of seniors living or working in our community. As this occurs, Territorians are seeking a greater range of housing options to live independently, in a safe environment, and with access to care and community support.

The NT Government engaged KPMG to undertake a market analysis into the development of seniors’ lifestyle accommodation in Alice Springs, the Darwin urban area and the Darwin rural area.

KPMG found that there is demand for seniors’ accommodation in the Darwin rural, Darwin urban and Alice Springs areas.

The NT Government undertook competitive market processes with a view to engaging proponents to develop and operate seniors’ lifestyle accommodation in the three areas.

The NT Government’s objectives were to develop new seniors’ lifestyle accommodation that delivered value for senior Territorians while being commercially sustainable.

The market processes have concluded. The proposals sought significant financial contributions to the development by the NT Government.

Following detailed consideration, the proposals did not represent value for the Territory and the NT Government has declined all proposals.

While government will not be actively pursuing these specific development opportunities, it remains open to engaging with the private sector to facilitate sustainable development of new seniors’ lifestyle accommodation options. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the Investment Territory team at or 08 8999 5091.

Darwin is set to take a leading role in international telecommunications across South East Asia.

As Australia’s most northern capital city, Darwin is uniquely placed to become an international hub between Australia’s east coast and major commercial and population centres in neighbouring South East Asia.

Darwin will transform from a gigabit city to a Terabit Territory, and a digital leader in the region through the development of a highly secure, high speed terabit network.

Using existing infrastructure with some additional installations, the terabit network will support the needs of business, government and defence.

This development will build on Darwin’s position as the only Australian capital city with full Fibre to the Premises connection to the National Broadband Network.

Connecting Darwin to Asia

Planned fibre links will connect Darwin and Port Hedland to Kupang, Dili and Singapore providing contemporary high speed, low latency links through South East Asia.

These fibre links are expected to be commissioned in 2020 and be operational by the end of 2022, providing redundant paths for any Darwin installations.

Connecting Darwin to the United States

There is also a planned fibre link which will span the Indo-Pacific regions, providing the first subsea route to directly connecting Darwin, Singapore, Indonesia and the United States.

There are a range of investment opportunities associated with these developments. To find out more go to The Territory website.

Cable connections

Map of Australia and Asia showing locations of planned network extensions

The Northern Territory Government has developed a framework for attracting people to the Territory, and encouraging those already here to stay for the long term. The Population Growth Strategy will be supported by annual Population Growth Action Plans.

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The Northern Territory Government is working to bring new life and vibrancy to Darwin. To drive population growth, create more jobs and cement Darwin as a fantastic place to live, work and visit.
We are working with the Australian Government and the City of Darwin to transform our city into a world class tourism and cultural destination.

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The Northern Territory Government established a co-investment fund to accelerate major and significant projects in the Territory.

The fund will support economic transformation projects and will help high growth potential Territory businesses to increase exports of goods and services both interstate and internationally.

For more information go to the Local Jobs Fund website.

Last updated: 20 May 2021

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