Territory Stories

Budget Paper 1994-95 No.6 Northern Territory Economy



Budget Paper 1994-95 No.6 Northern Territory Economy

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Tabled Paper 2156


Tabled Papers for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




Tabled by Barry Coulter


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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Overview The T errito ry s natural resource endow m ents, including m ajor m ineral deposits, rich coastal fishing resources, extensive pastoral operations and unique flo ra and fauna, together w ith relatively new infrastructure, provide the foundation o f the N orthern Territory economy. The T erritorys economy perform ed relatively strongly in 1993/94, com pared to the recovering national economy, w ith an increase in econom ic activ ity sim ilar to that o f Q ueensland and W estern A ustralia. The grow ing contribution o f the T errito ry s private sector to the econom y in recent years, together w ith the progressive expansion o f the D efence Force presence in northern A ustralia, has accelera ted the T errito ry s p rogress tow ards a S ta te-like stage o f developm ent and consequent reduction in the level o f direct C om m onw ealth financial assistance. In 1993/94 the Territory onshore econom y continued the expansion o f the previous year, w ith dom estic final dem and grow ing by an estim ated 7%. W ithin this, private consum ption expenditure grew by alm ost 5% and public consum ption rose by around 4%. R etail sales, new m otor vehicle registrations, personal and housing finance and residentia l bu ild ing all recorded strong grow th over the year. Investm ent expenditure, predom inantly by the private sector, also m ade a sign ifican t contribution to final dem and, rising by an estim ated 17.5% in 1993/94. The value o f output from the T errito rys key industry sectors increased strongly in 1993/94. The m ining industry, stimulated by improving world com m odity prices and the com m encem ent o f M t Todd gold m ine, increased production significantly ; fish ing production, underp inned by rising dem and and higher prices, reached record levels; construction activity rose sharply, fuelled largely by private investment; and further growth in the tourism industry was stimulated by lower dom estic airfares, tailo red m arketing o f the Territory as a holiday destination , and an increase in the num ber o f international airline services. The Territory rem ains a key contributor to the national export effort, exporting alm ost double the national average in per capita term s. Further im provem ent in the T errito ry s net export position cam e from increased exports o f m inerals, p rim ary produce and tourism . From a cyclical low in mid 1992/93, the T errito ry s annual inflation rate w ill rise to 2.5% in 1993/94, on a par w ith the national rate. As was the case nationally, the T errito ry s average unem ploym ent rate improved, falling to 7.5% from 7.9% the previous year. The T errito ry s v