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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through Darwin Airport declined by 11.6% over the same period. The Territory Government has formed the Tourism Aviation Committee, with a primary role to increase the international aviation capacity of the Northern Territory. During 1996-97 there was a 9% increase in international seat capacity and a 20% increase in international service frequency. Domestically, seat capacity rose by 1%. The domestic airl ine market is predominantly serviced by Ansett and Qantas, who together provided an average of 350 services per week into and out of the Territory in 1996-97. The international market is served by seven carriers: Qantas; Ansett; Royal Brunei; Garuda Indonesia; Merpati Nusantara; Singapore Airlines; and Malaysia Airlines, with 24 international services per week. In early 1998 Darwin, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs airports were leased by the Federal Government to the Airport Development Group (ADG), a majority Austral ian owned private sector consortium (also owners of Perth Airport). ADG have indicated they intend to upgrade Darwin Airport based on high potential rates of growth in passenger numbers. There is an extensive network of small regional airlines in the Territory. There are 45 major communities with airstrips and many properties and outstations have airfields. The provision of air services to remote areas of the Territory is particularly important in the Top End where roads are regularly rendered impassable by heavy wet season rains. The Territory is linked to the rest of Australia by three main roads, the Stuart, Barkly and Victoria Highways. Historically, development of the road network has been based on defence and primary industry needs. However, tourism and freight transport are now the major impetus for new developments. Recent years have seen the completion of several major arterial road projects including the Kakadu Highway from Pine Creek to Jabiru, the access road to Kings Canyon, the Central Arnhem Road to Nhulunbuy, and sealed access to the major attractions in Litchfield Park. More recent developments (just completed or soon to be completed) include the Tiger Brenann Drive extension from Winellie to Berrimah, more passing lanes on the Stuart Highway between Katherine and Darwin, and a two-lane seal of the Victoria Highway. A higher clearance Elizabeth River Bridge has also been constructed to avoid the cut-off of the Stuart Highway by extreme wet season flooding. Road freight remains one of the most important methods for transporting goods into and out of the Territory. For 1996, the Northern Territory Department of Transport and Works, using road count figures and average payloads, estimated that 1.2 million tonnes of freight moved into and out of the Territory by road transport. The most significant development in transport in the Territory will be the completion of the Adelaide to Darwin railway, with the construction of a new 1 410 kilometre track between Alice Springs and Darwin. The project is for a private consortium to build, own, operate and then transfer ownership of the railway back to the Territory and South Australian Governments. At this stage, the governments, together with the Australasia Railway Corporation, anticipate that the concession period will be fifty years. Three consortia from over 30 expressions of interest were announced in early 1998; Northlink, Southern Cross, and Asia Pacific Transportation. The consortia will complete detailed submissions on the project by the end of October 1998. 79 Transport and Communication

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