Budget Paper No.6 1997/98 Northern Territory Economy
Tabled Paper 3223
Tabled Papers for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT; Tabled Papers
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.
expected in late 1997 while oil production from the larger Laminaria/Corallina field is expected in early 1999. The past year was a year of consolidation for the Territorys rural industries and fisheries. Overall production was down primarily due to a decline in the value of the prawn catch and an unexpected decline in mango production. The burgeoning trade in live cattle to South East Asia continued with another strong increase in exports in 1996 with further growth expected in 1997. The prospects for horticulture are particularly good with increases anticipated in a range of products, especially mangoes, bananas, nursery and cut flowers. The outlook for aquaculture is also bright and demand remains strong for quality Territory seafood, particularly from Asian markets. The tourism industry now accounts for a sizeable proportion of Territory GSP and about one in five jobs. Visitors are attracted to the Territorys unique flora, fauna and natural beauty, including many world class national parks. The steady expansion of the tourism industry continues with increases in the number of visitors, visitor nights, expenditure and visits to national parks. The industry is confident of further growth as evidenced by the construction of 600 new hotel and holiday apartment rooms ready for the 1997 tourist season and a further 380 planned over the next year. The growth in tourism has also been the main factor in the ongoing increase in both domestic and international flights to and from Territory airports. Further strong growth in the East Asia region, especially the Territorys closest neighbours in South East Asia, is expected over the next few years, continuing a trend evident over the past decade. These countries are among the Territorys most important trading partners and their ongoing transformation into more mature economies is important for the development of the Territorys export industries, particularly live cattle, horticulture, seafood, oil, a range of minerals and, increasingly, service exports including tourism. An important factor in the development of the Northern Territory as a supplier of goods and services to Asia is the development of an efficient and appropriate system of transport infrastructure. The key components of this are: modern and efficient airports in Darwin and other centres; the new East Arm Port in Darwin; and the Alice Springs to Darwin railway, the completion of which the Territory Government continues to facilitate. These infrastructure developments will also serve to develop and enhance the Territorys and Darwins role as a transport hub linking Australia with Asia. Overview vi