Territory Stories

Budget Paper No.6 1997/98 Northern Territory Economy



Budget Paper No.6 1997/98 Northern Territory Economy

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Tabled Paper 3223


Tabled Papers for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT




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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Nhulunbuy and Groote Eylandt. Qantas schedules have increased in excess of 40% with extra services being provided from Darwin to Adelaide, Cairns and Alice Springs. International air freight through Darwin Airport increased 5.4% in 1995-96. In contrast, domestic air freight through all Territory airports declined by 4.5%. There is also 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 during the wet season. 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 is now the major impetus for new developments. Recent years has 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. In 1996 it was estimated by the Northern Territory Department of Transport and Works, using road count figures and average payloads, that 1.2 million tonnes of freight moved in and out of the Territory by road transport, this is a 32.5% increase on the 1995 estimate of 926 000 tonnes. The most significant development in transport in the Territory will be the completion of the Alice Springs to Darwin railway. Construction cost is estimated to be $1 008 million and take four years to complete, commencing in 1998. The route survey and land title to the railway corridor are expected to be completed in 1997. Presently the railway is planned to predominantly offer freight services; and the addition of the major centres of Darwin, Katherine and Tennant Creek to the rail network is expected to at least double the present rail task of approximately 500 000 tonnes per year into and out of Alice Springs. Transport Outlook The completion of the East Arm Port will facilitate the more expedient transhipment of goods through Darwin to Australias southern centres. Export services will be similarly enhanced. It is anticipated that when landbridging (moving freight by road or rail to Darwin and then by sea to Asia) takes full effect, up to seven days can be saved in transit times between some Australian and Asian cities. The new Port has been strategically located on a site close to Darwins Trade Development Zone with ample room for expansion of port and industrial facilities. Potential developments are an automated high capacity container facility, chiller facilities, live cattle export yards and oil Transport and Communications 83