Big Rivers

  • $1,735

    gross regional
    product ($M)
    NIEIR 2020

  • 975

    total registered
    businesses
    ABS 2020

  • 8,399

    employed residents
    NIEIR 2020

  • Public Administration
    and Safety

    largest industry
    (by employment)
    NIEIR 2020

  • 8,626

    local jobs
    NIEIR 2020

  • 21,372

    population
    ABS ERP 2020

Big Rivers Regional Economic Growth Committee

The Big Rivers Regional Economic Growth Committee (REGC) is an independent advisory committee for the Big Rivers comprising regional leaders across key industry sectors, business, local government and Aboriginal economic leadership. Members of the committee are appointed by the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory and are people who know the region, are connected across sectors, and have a passion for the growth and sustainable development of the region.

The Big Rivers REGC provides a direct voice to government and works collaboratively with stakeholders across all levels of government to ensure the region’s key economic challenges and opportunities are identified and considered in relevant strategic regional planning.

The current membership includes:

  • Alison Ross, Elders Real Estate Katherine; Chairperson, Big Rivers Regional Economic Growth Committee; and Katherine Region Executive Committee, Chamber of Commerce NT
  • Trent De With, Rod and Rifle Tackle World and Katherine Regional Executive Committee, Chamber of Commerce NT
  • Robert Friel, Deputy Chairperson, Jawoyn Association Aboriginal Corporation; Chairperson, Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre; Nitmiluk Tours Pty Ltd Board Member; and Nitmiluk National Park Board
  • Sharon Hillen, The Northern Land Council (NLC); and Regional Development Australia (RDA) Northern Territory regional representative.
  • Colin Abbott, Chamber of Commerce NT; and Industry Capability Network NT
  • Annabel Curtain, Katherine Outback Experience; and Tourism Top End Board Member
  • Andrew Dalglish, Foxalicious Fruits; and NT Farmers Association Board Member
  • Tanya Egerton, Circulanation
  • Marc Gardner, Chief Executive Officer, Roper Gulf Regional Council
  • Ingrid Stonhill, Chief Executive Officer, Katherine Town Council
  • Russell Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, Victoria Daly Regional Council

Big Rivers Regional Economic Growth Plan

This Big Rivers Regional Economic Growth Plan is the region’s master for growth that articulates cross-government priority actions that address key economic challenges and opportunities. It promotes a collaborative vision for growth that is aligned to the Territory’s overall growth strategy to support government decision making and private sector investment decisions.

The plan leverages regional strengths and competitive advantages to focus on four key growth objectives including:

  • Growth driven through private investment
  • Aboriginal economic leadership
  • Improving liveability to grow the region’s population
  • Cross-sectorial coordination for infrastructure and workforce planning for industry growth

The Big Rivers Economic Growth Plan will be updated annually to remain relevant and to reflect the evolving priority actions for growth of the Northern Territory Government and the Big Rivers REGC. It does not duplicate or replace existing strategies or plans produced by the Northern Territory Government and instead ensures alignment for strategic, cross government integration with a regional place-based lens.

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Big Rivers Region

Located in the top end of the Northern Territory approximately 200km south of Darwin, the Big Rivers Region extends from the Western Australia border in the west, the Gulf of Carpentaria along the Queensland border to the east and over 500km to the south.

The region accounts for approximately 25 per cent of the Northern Territory’s land area at 340,000km², encompassing three Local Government Areas (LGAs); Katherine Town Council, Victoria Daly Regional Council and Roper Gulf Regional Council.

At the heart of the region is Katherine; the major township and the fourth largest settlement in the Northern Territory.

Katherine is strategically located at the juncture of the Darwin to Adelaide north-south transcontinental rail route and the Stuart Highway; the Northern Territory’s main arterial highway connecting the regional road network to major trade routes from Australia’s east, south and west coasts.

With a broad-based economy driven by key industry sectors including resources, agriculture, tourism and public administration and safety (including defence), the region boasts some of the most significant economic activity in Northern Australia including:

  • One of the largest deposits of zinc-lead in the world at McArthur River Mine
  • The exploration of the Beetaloo Sub-basin as a world-class shale gas resource and home to over three-quarters of the Northern Territory’s prospective shale gas resources with an indication of a ‘P50 gas-in-place resource’ of at least 500 trillion cubic feet in one shale layer alone
  • Home to the Grow Out Facility for Project Sea Dragon as Australia’s largest aquaculture development. Project Sea Dragon is a large-scale, integrated, land-based prawn aquaculture project with potential to generate 130,000 – 180,000 tonnes of black tiger prawns per annum
  • Katherine’s photovoltaic park (34 MW) ;the largest solar farm in the Northern Territory and a major contributor to the Northern Territory Government’s objective of producing 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030
  • Home to Larrimah Agricultural Precinct Development; one of the three largest agriculture land releases in the history of the Northern Territory delivering almost 100,000 hectares into production in the coming years
  • Production of 20% of Australia’s mango supply and 38% of Australia’s premium live beef exports
  • Home to some of the most renowned tourism destinations in Northern Australia including Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge),Elsey and Judbarra National Parks.

Last updated: 23 September 2022

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