Territory Stories

Budget Paper No5 Northern Territory Economy 1998/99



Budget Paper No5 Northern Territory Economy 1998/99

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Tabled Paper 382


Tabled papers for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT




Tabled by Michael Reed


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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Lease finance commitments decreased by 34.4% in the Territory during 1997, following a 24.2% increase the previous year. Lease finance, at $34.4 million, comprises a relatively small proportion of the funding requirements of business as can be seen by comparing the value of lease commitments against the value of commercial finance commitments, at $734.9 million. BUSINESS REGISTRATIONS The Northern Territory Office of Business Affairs compiles data on the registration of new business names. Growth in the number of new business registrations is generally associated with periods of increasing economic activity, improving business confidence and an expectation that demand will remain buoyant for some time. New registrations for the year to January 1998 were 5.7% higher than in the year to January 1997. OFFICE VACANCY RATES The Australian Valuation Office in Darwin publishes office accommodation data for major centres throughout the Territory; namely Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs. As shown in Table 7.1, the weighted average vacancy rate increased from 7.6% in 1996 to 9.2% in 1997, as the increase in gross lettable area outpaced the increase in demand for office space. The largest increase in vacancy rates was recorded in Palmerston, up 9.2 percentage points to 16.0%. This was a result of the difficulty in immediately absorbing the 39% increase in gross lettable area, reflecting the opening of the Goyder building. Occupied office floor space actually increased 26% in Palmerston during 1997, demonstrating the regions growth as a commercial centre. Darwin suburbs continue to have the highest office vacancy rates at 25.1%. Total gross lettable area in the Territory expanded 5.2% over the twelve months to November 1997. This increase was almost entirely due to the increase in office space in Palmerston although there were still substantial increases in office space of 8.1% in Darwin suburbs and 7.5% in Katherine. The Darwin CBD accounts for approximately two thirds of gross lettable area in the Territory, reflecting its continuing predominance as the commercial centre of the Territory. BANKRUPTCIES Data on both business and non-business bankruptcies is compiled by the Commonwealth body, the Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia. Figure 7.2 shows the total number of bankruptcies across Australian jurisdictions during 1997. In 1997, the total number of bankruptcies increased by 39% to 133 in the Territory and by 18% to 23 424 nationally. On a per capita basis, Territory bankruptcies are just a little over half the national average, and the lowest of any jurisdiction. It should also be noted that approximately 70% of Territory bankruptcies are individual rather than corporate. Figures for the Territory are also 34 Northern Territory Economy 1996 1997 % % Casuarina 6.6 3.2 Darwin CBD 7.2 8.3 Darwin Suburbs 23.0 25.1 Palmerston 6.8 16.0 Alice Springs 4.8 4.3 Katherine 13.1 14.1 Weighted Average 7.6 9.2 Table 7.1 OFFICE VACANCY RATES Source: Australian Valuation Office

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