Northern Australia development

The Northern Territory (NT) Government is preparing for the largest period of growth in the Territory's history.

Building the economy through sustainable growth, investing in education, reducing welfare and creating more jobs with new business opportunities are all part of the NT Government's vision for the future.

The ministerial portfolio for Northern Australia and the Northern Australia Development Office were set up with these goals in mind.

The NT is Australia's gateway to Asia.

Asia is home to more than four billion people and some of the fastest growing economies in the world.

The NT is uniquely positioned to capitalise on our neighbour's expansion. We are geographically closer to Asia than anywhere else in Australia.

A case for Developing the North

This is a nation-building exercise to benefit all of Australia.

Unlocking the full potential of northern Australia will boost Australia’s prosperity - increasing exports and employment to ensure Australia’s position among the world’s top economies is protected.

To make this happen, bold and innovative action is needed in the next few years.

Developing northern Australia will:

  • increase national prosperity and help ensure Australia’s position among the world’s top economies
  • increase future government revenues and reduce welfare expenditure - which can be reinvested to improve services, infrastructure and quality of life for all of Australia
  • require bold innovative action along with significant investment to unlock and rapidly accelerate development of northern Australia so all of Australia can realise the benefits
  • require sustained effort over a number of years to develop the full potential of northern Australia.

Northern Australia’s position alone gives it a decisive geographical advantage over the rest of Australia in terms of connectivity to Asia.

However, there is more to it than a favourable geographical position.

The north has many natural advantages relating to agriculture, mining, energy and tourism.

As well as its naturally occurring advantages, the north is already pursuing emerging service industries in areas such as international education, tropical health and defence support.

The strong defence presence in the north also plays an important role in the security and development of the nation and its ongoing strategic importance cannot be emphasised enough.

With its natural resources, large undeveloped land mass and its pro-development attitude, northern Australia is positioned to increasingly contribute to Australia’s prosperity.

White paper on Developing Northern Australia

The Australian Government released the first ever white paper on Developing Northern Australia in June 2015.

To read more about the white paper, go to the Australian Government's Department of Industry, Science and Innovation website.


The Northern Australia Development Office
Development House
76 The Esplanade
Phone: 1800 733 458

Last updated: 30 November 2020

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