Our regions

As part of the department’s economic development agenda, it operates a range of facilities from research farms and stations to scientific precincts and offices in different climatic zones throughout the NT.

The specialised laboratory and field facilities support research, development and extension programs that underpin agricultural development to maximise market opportunities, protect resources, improve efficiency and productivity, and develop environmentally sound agricultural production systems.

The department’s resources staff operate across the NT in regulatory roles and undertake regional geological programs, while maintaining information services and exploration drill core libraries.

Fisheries Division staff work closely with remote Aboriginal communities to develop and support local fishing businesses. Fisheries also provides training to build the skills of Aboriginal Marine Rangers so they can assist with fisheries compliance and aquatic biosecurity

Regional map.

The department’s main office accommodation is located in Paspalis Centrepoint in the Smith Street Mall, Darwin. Staff from Mines, Energy, Northern Territory Geological Survey (NTGS) and Corporate Services and Governance divisions are based at this site.

The department’s Berrimah Farm site is undergoing significant redevelopment as it transitions from a research farm into a regional scientific precinct. The site continues to be the base for the department’s agriculture, biosecurity and animal welfare functions.

The Berrimah Farm Science Precinct has a number of specialist laboratories, including veterinary diagnostics, chemistry, tissue culture, agronomy and water testing. These laboratories have a range of roles, including research, development and extension, as well as the provision of specialist diagnostic services to government, industry and the community.

As part of the site redevelopment, Fisheries Division staff and laboratories relocated to a new purpose‑built facility in Berrimah. Fisheries Division also retains its operations at the Darwin Aquaculture Centre (DAC), Channel Island. This research and development facility is dedicated to supporting the NT’s aquaculture industry through research programs focused on tropical marine aquaculture with specific areas dedicated to fish, molluscs, echinoderms, algae, live feeds and environmental control work.

Located at Farrell Crescent in Winnellie, the Darwin Core Library gives mineral explorers and researchers access to about 2,200 drill cores from locations all over the Top End. The ability to view and sample core, together with associated information services, supports new exploration activities and geological research in the NT. The Core Library also houses HyLogger equipment for assessing the mineral content of samples via hyperspectral analysis. The department’s Environmental Monitoring Unit is also based at this site.

Located at Middle Point, the Beatrice Hill Research Farm (2,600 hectares) is used for undertaking research into cattle and buffalo production systems on improved pasture, including continued, sustainable utilisation of floodplains. This includes the maintenance of animals used in the National Arbovirus Monitoring Program.

Also at Middle Point is the Coastal Plains Research Farm. This 140‑hectare facility is the principal horticultural research farm in the Darwin region involved in the evaluation of new varieties of mangoes, rambutans, passionfruit, jackfruit and other tropical  fruits. It is the only testing facility in Australia for banana research into Panama Disease Tropical Race 4 and is leading the world in projects aimed at developing resistance to this disease.

The Katherine Research Station (KRS) is the department’s headquarters for agriculture in the region. The 1,260‑hectare facility includes regional office accommodation, laboratories, glasshouses, cool rooms, animal housing and animal handling facilities, and other farm infrastructure.

The Katherine region is the largest producer of agricultural commodities in the NT and has significant prospects for future primary industry development.  The natural resources (soils, water and rainfall) are suitable for further intensification of cattle production  as well as irrigated cropping and horticulture. The region is strategically located for a planned agribusiness logistics hub and is well placed to supply emerging  Asian markets from regional NT and Western Australia.

Also in the region is the 3,100‑hectare Douglas Daly Research Farm (DDRF), which is a mixed farming  research and demonstration facility located in the Douglas Daly region about 120 km northwest of Katherine. The principal focus is beef cattle production from improved pasture and cropping systems, investigating potential irrigated agricultural production and diversification of pastoral land into  more intensive agricultural production. The DDRF also hosts a primary school and social facilities for use by  the local community.

The Victoria River Research Station is the department’s most remote research station, located in the Victoria River District. At 31,400 hectares, the site is significant as a semi‑arid tropical rangeland and cattle production research site.

The department’s Tennant Creek office delivers animal health services to facilitate domestic and international livestock market access, research and extension services to the vast and economically important Barkly region. Senior staff from the Mines Division also frequently visit Tennant Creek throughout the year as part of the NT Government’s commitment to developing the region as  a minerals and mining services and supply centre.

Located south of Alice Springs, the Arid Zone Research Institute (AZRI) accommodates staff from the departments of Primary Industry and Resources, Environment and Natural Resources, Tourism and Culture, Education (Vocational Education Training  Rural Operations Program), and Police Fire and Emergency Services (Mounted Police Unit).

The 256‑hectare site includes office space, cattle and horticultural farming infrastructure, an accredited  water microbiology laboratory, interim staff housing  and vocational education classrooms, and hosts sentinel cattle and chickens as part of national  testing commitments for monitoring arboviruses and avian viruses.

Also located in Alice Springs is the Alice Springs Core Library, which retains drill core samples from mineral and petroleum exploration throughout Central Australia. The facility gives explorers and researchers access to view and sample over 500 km of drill cores stored on site.

Located to the southwest of Alice Springs, the Old Man Plains Research Station (OMP) encompasses 52,200 hectares and has the facilities required to conduct research, development and extension programs aimed at supporting the sustainable long‑term development of the central Australian pastoral industry. This arid area base facilitates increased production   and demonstrates long‑term industry viability while preserving the health and diversity of rangeland ecosystems. Projects currently underway at OMP for the benefit of the pastoral industry are focused on pasture management, sustainable stocking, drought resilience, meat quality, calf loss and genetics. It also supports the activities of the Indigenous Pastoral Program.


Last updated: 23 October 2019

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