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Budget 2013/14 Northern Territory Economy



Budget 2013/14 Northern Territory Economy

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Tabled paper 295


Tabled Papers for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




Tabled by David Tollner


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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178 Transport and Communication 2013-14 Budget lower iron ore, manganese and copper concentrate exports and a temporary track closure between Darwin and Katherine due to flooding. While the track closure decreased rail haulage, it affected international exports more substantially as minerals were diverted to South Australia for export. The Ghan passenger train runs services between Darwin and Adelaide, operated by Great Southern Rail (GSR). In 2011-12, GSR reports that passenger numbers declined by 19.5 per cent to 39 543, compared with the previous year. This is consistent with weak economic conditions in key international markets and the strong Australian dollar. As a result of the decline, GSR revised The Ghans operating schedule in 2012-13, reducing the number of services in the off-peak tourist season, while increasing service inclusions on Gold and Platinum fares. The Darwin Port Corporation (DPC) operates the Port of Darwin, the Territorys main port and the closest deepwater port in Australia to Asianexport markets. The Port of Darwin mainly exports bulk minerals including iron ore and manganese, and agricultural products such as live cattle. Trade Volume Trade volume is the aggregate of imports and exports in a given period. In 2011-12, the volume of cargo through the Port of Darwin declined by 8.5percent to 3.5 milliontonnes, mainly due to a decline in mineral exports, while increased demand for construction materials and motor vehicles saw imports rise in the same period (Chart 14.1). Exports In 2011-12, export volume through the Port of Darwin declined by 15.1percent to 2.3 million tonnes, mainly due to a fall in mineral exports, which accounted for 88.4percent of total exports in the period (Chart 14.1). Significant changes to mineral exports in 2011-12 included: a 15.4 per cent (200 000 tonnes) decline in iron ore exports, reflecting a decrease in iron ore sales in a period of falling prices; a 56.7 per cent (130 000 tonnes) decline in copper concentrate exports due to railroad closures and the installation of a rotainer system (which facilitates the transfer of copper concentrate to ship) at the Port of Darwin, which halted copper concentrate exports; and a 5.6 per cent (50 000 tonnes) decline in manganese exports due to supply disruptions caused by railroad closures. Closure of the railroad due to flooding on the Edith River bridge in December 2011 impacted negatively on export volumes through the PortofDarwin as miners were unable to transport production. The disruption had the greatest effect on manganese exports. While production of iron ore and manganese both increased in 2011-12, export of these commodities both declined, suggesting stockpiling. Livestock exports account for approximately 5 per cent of total exports. In 2011-12 livestock exports declined by 1.5 per cent compared with 2010-11. The decline was attributed to the Commonwealths temporary live export ban to Indonesia and the subsequent reduction of live cattle and boxed Sea Transport