Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Wed 4 Nov 2020



The Northern Territory news Wed 4 Nov 2020

Other title

NT news


The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT






Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.

Publisher name

News Corp Australia

Place of publication


File type



Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

Copyright owner

News Corp Australia



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 4 2020 BUSINESS 21 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA FROM P19 We have worked closely with the Department of Primary Industry and Resources and appreciate their efforts during these challenging times, Mr Illingworth said. We have also worked closely with the Port of Darwin and the operators of the railway, OneRail, and the Northern Land Council to achieve this new export market. NT Bullion has plans to expand its operations and this cooperative approach with the private and government sectors is vital to ensure Northern Territory mines can get to markets and contribute to the growth of the local economy. Mr Illingworth said NT Bullion is committed to local skills and training with its Indigenous partnerships while contributing to the Pine Creek economy and continuing its close association with the Northern Land Council and local Aboriginal community. NT Bullion is a 30 per cent Indigenous-owned Northern Territory mining services and infrastructure company developing a gold production strategy in the Northern Territory. Through its associated entities it owns and operates the Frances Creek project which involves iron ore production and gold resources development centred within the Pine Creek Gold producing region. Linecrest Pty Ltd is 50 per cent Indigenous owned and has the mine operating licences over the mine leases and is also 100 per cent locally owned by Northern Territory shareholders. Company inks iron ore deal Safe budget forecast THE peak body representing Territory business is not holding its breath expecting Chief Minister Michael Gunners first Territory budget as Treasurer to contain any big spending or exciting initiatives. Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Greg Ireland said he believes Mr Gunners first budget will be one for the COVID times Territorians are living in. Belt-tightening budget with no bucket load of cash to be splashed around, Mr Ireland said. Hopefully it will have the support to achieve the economic objectives of the Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission plus other activities that will generate economic prosperity over time. It really has to focus on reducing the overall costs of government and the costs of doing business. We are the smallest financial jurisdiction in the country so we should be the easiest place to do business. This really has to be the focus for the Chief Minister and I think we have seen some indicators that he is going to be going down that path. Mr Ireland said what he would not like to see is anything that is going to increase the cost of living for Territorians. Anything that is going to raise the cost of doing business will be an unfair burden right now, Mr Ireland said. We certainly have a high cost base in the Territory. If you look at currently increasing costs of energy, what it costs for transport and logistics just to support business here. The pure costs of the workforce is significantly more than in southern states and then you throw on top of that the other complexities of regulation, approvals and delays and all the other licensing bits and pieces, well those are the key areas the government and therefore the budget needs to focus on removing those barriers. Things like our workers compensation schemes for example. If that gets any more onerous for business, the costs are already significantly more than our southern counterparts. Businesses just cant afford the cost base to go up, its got to come down. We know that the fiscal strategy plan set out for the Chief Minister in the Langoulant report is very unlikely to be achieved given COVID-19 and a reduction in GST revenues. Government stimulus packages have put a big hole in that plan. So we really do need to be looking at our cost base and making sure we can operate accordingly. Mr Ireland said the Territory economy still remained patchy despite economic stimulus packages for businesses by both the federal and Territory governments. We have very much a twospeed economy at the moment if you are in the construction and professional services sectors you are pretty flat out at the moment. If you are in those forward-facing businesses that are having public contact all the time then that has been a struggle and it looks remaining that way for a while. Government has to find a mechanism where it can reduce the economic volatility that we have seen. I still firmly believe the exploration and activity in the Beetaloo gas basin is showing encouraging signs and that needs to be part of the budget strategy. Some of these projects around manufacturing and larger-scale opportunities are going to take some time, but the government needs to push them along and really get our economic diversity happening. We are stuck in too many single sectors at the moment. Mr Ireland said while the Chamber of Commerce NTs member numbers were relatively stable there was evidence of business sizes shrinking as the demand for workers is reducing and businesses are shedding staff. This is going to be a continuing trend with the ongoing level of uncertainty, Mr Ireland said. Michael Gunner will deliver his first budget as Treasurer on November 10. GARY SHIPWAY Cost of doing business must not be increased Refer A Friend to Purchase a New Solar System and Receive a $150 Gift Voucher* *voucher provided on receipt of customer deposit for new solar system rimfi reenergy.com.au1800RIMFIRE Your local NT electricity retailer providing Territorians: Premium feed in tariff Discounted electricity tariffs Quality solar installations Contact us today for an obligation free quote.