Investment prospectus

Unique destination

As the world’s economic power centre continues the shift towards Asia, the Northern Territory’s location delivers significant advantages.

Business hours here are conveniently in line with Asia’s working day, sitting in a two hour time corridor with major cities such as Beijing, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo.

Trade, investment and cultural links with China, Indonesia, Japan and Korea are strong and long-standing.

Robust and quality infrastructure

Darwin has exceptional connectivity and offers all the facilities, infrastructure and services of a progressive modern city including:

  • An established 24 hour international airport which provides a gateway to Asia and the world, with daily flights to Singapore.
  • A port precinct with a natural deep water harbour, dedicated berths for bulk liquids, minerals and container freight, a marine supply base for offshore support vessels, and established shipping services.
  • Connections to the national rail network.
  • National highway links.
  • High speed broadband communications network.
  • The Royal Darwin Hospital, home to Australia’s National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre.
  • Charles Darwin University, offering higher education and vocational training with campuses in Darwin, Palmerston and Alice Springs, and part of a sophisticated research community within the Territory.
  • An established and growing supply and services industry.
  • Significant tourism infrastructure and services including major hotels and iconic attractions.
  • Major defence force bases, home to approximately 10% of Australia’s defence personnel.

A stable system of government

The Northern Territory Parliament is a unicameral parliament based on the Westminster System and the legal system of the British Commonwealth. Twenty-five members of the Legislative Assembly are elected to four-year terms from single-member electorates. The Chief Minister of the Northern Territory is the head of government of a self-governing territory and is generally the elected leader of whichever party holds the majority of seats in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly. The Northern Territory is represented in the Commonwealth Parliament by two Members in the House of Representatives and two Members in the Senate.

A commitment to developing Northern Australia

For many years the Northern Territory has been pursuing a vision for Northern Australia as the focus for Australia’s future economic development.

Map of greater Darwin

Map of the Northern Territory highlighting Darwin region, Darwin, Palmerston, high speed broadbank area, and the road and rail networks.

In response to this, the Australian Government is now placing high priority on Northern Australia as integral to Australia’s further economic development, long-term security and regional engagement.

The white paper on developing Northern Australia identifies Darwin as the regional centre for Northern Australia, and the Australian Government has recently co-located the Office of Northern Australia with the Northern Territory’s Northern Australia Development Office. This single point of entry for all Northern Territory investment activity puts investors in direct contact with decision-makers, gives ready access to the best information and ensures regulatory and approval processes are simplified and straightforward.

In focusing on Northern Australia, the Federal Government is seeking to streamline and simplify cultural heritage, land and trade regulations, and support northern industries including fisheries, cattle, horticultural trade, mining and tourism.

It is likely that, over time, these changes will expedite access to land and improve investment potential for business, while also increasing the opportunity for economic advancement for Indigenous communities and existing tenure holders.


The Northern Territory lies across two climate zones: the tropical and the semi-arid. Two-thirds of Australia’s rainfall falls on the northern one-third of Australia.

The tropical north, including Darwin, Katherine, Kakadu and Arnhem Land, has two distinct seasons: the Wet (monsoon) from November to April and the Dry from May to October. Temperatures typically range from 21ºC (70ºF) to 33ºC (91ºF). Humidity levels can range from 10% to 80% across the seasons.

Central Australia, including Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, the Barkly Tablelands and Uluru / Kata-Tjuta regions, has a semi-arid climate. In summer (December to February), average temperatures range between 20ºC (68ºF) and 35ºC (95ºF). In winter (June to August), the average temperatures range between 3ºC (37ºF) and 20ºC (68ºF) . Spring and autumn in Central Australia see warm days and cool evenings.


The Northern Territory’s current population is approximately 245,000 with almost 145,000 living in the Greater Darwin area. Over 70% of the population is concentrated in five major centres: Darwin and suburbs, Alice Springs, Palmerston, Katherine and Nhulunbuy.

By 2060, the Northern Territory is projected to have a population of 450,000 with greater Darwin rising to 225,000.

The multicultural population of the Northern Territory has roots in countries across Asia, contributing to easy communication in many languages. People from the region feel at home here.

People speaking an Asian language at home based on 2011 census

View link below for detailed description

View detailed description of graph.

The unique location, geography and demography of the Northern Territory demands innovative solutions and fosters a culture of ingenuity. It inspires those who are bold, ambitious and innovative by nature: Those with a determination to build, create, transform and challenge conventional thinking. Such diversity of people creates a diversity of thinking.

Moving quickly maximises investment opportunities

By 2030 Asia will be home to three of the world’s four largest economies. The Northern Territory economy provides Asian investors with the potential to gain a first mover advantage in a competitive Foreign Direct Investment market that is dynamic, rapidly changing and seeking greenfield opportunities.

The Northern Territory is unique in being an emerging regional economy with enormous untapped potential, while also having a sophisticated business regime and a government with the capacity to "see over the horizon".

The Northern Territory actively welcomes the contribution investment can make to the economy, and accordingly works hard to make things easy for business. Potential investors are attracted by the government’s open and enthusiastic attitude, a framework conducive to profitable investment, and a process characterised by speed, transparency and results.

This stable, well-functioning environment has achieved substantial and strategic international investment outcomes over the last decade, as illustrated on the preceding timeline.

Ichthys case study

Oil rig and supply boats at night

The multi-billion dollar Ichthys LNG project is a world class project in the Liquefied Natural Gas sector, a joint venture between INPEX group companies (the operator), major partner Total and CPC Corporation Taiwan, Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Koinsai Electric, Chubu Electric Power and Toho Gas.

At the peak of construction, a workforce of more than 8,000 was involved in building the onshore facilities which include a two train LNG plant, a condensate plant, storage tanks for condensate and LNG (propane / butane), product loading jetties and a 300-megawatt power station.

Gas from the Ichthys Field, in the Browse Basin (820km south-west of Darwin), will undergo preliminary processing offshore to remove water and raw liquids, including condensate. The gas will then be exported to the onshore processing facilities in Darwin via an 889km 42 inch diameter pipeline, the longest in the southern hemisphere.

The Ichthys LNG project is expected to produce 8.9 million tonnes of LNG and 1.6 million tonnes of LPG per annum, along with approximately 100,000 barrels of condensate per day at peak. Production is targeted for third quarter of 2017.

Creating the remarkable

INPEX chose Darwin to establish its biggest project to date, and the biggest single Japanese investment ever made in Australia.

The Northern Territory Government actively pursued INPEX to make its base in Darwin. It succeeded by providing certainty and clarity about the potential sites that could be used for this major facility, and the processes to undertake and schedule to secure its approval.

The project has injected on average over $1.5 billion annually into the Northern Territory economy during the five year construction phase (totalling over $8.2 billion), providing a base of demand for a range of supporting services.

When combined with the other operating LNG projects in, or serviced from Darwin, (Darwin LNG and Prelude FLNG), a critical mass is emerging to drive the growth in supply and service businesses. An estimated combined annual operational expenditure in excess of $500 million is expected to underpin the growth of the supply and service sector in the Northern Territory.

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