The Northern Territory Government has released the NT Infrastructure Strategy 2022 to 2030 and the NT Infrastructure Plan and Pipeline 2022 to support the Territory economy to grow by billions of dollars and contribute to a stronger and more resilient northern Australia.

The Northern Territory Government’s vision is for infrastructure investment that enables growth of the Territory economy and population, and supports well-being and quality of life for all Territorians, underpinned by sustainability and resilience.

The Territory’s first strategic infrastructure planning and development body, Infrastructure NT, was established in 2021 to coordinate and align infrastructure needs with industry and population growth.

Informed by consultation with all levels of government, regional and Indigenous land councils and industry representative groups, the Strategy, Plan and Pipeline build the foundations for a sustainable and diverse $40 billion Northern Territory economy by 2030.

In addition to the Strategy, Plan and Pipeline, Infrastructure NT is progressing a strategic audit of Northern Territory infrastructure which will provide an evidence base to guide future infrastructure investment decision making and ensure infrastructure investment is prioritised to where it can have the most impact. This suite of documents will focus attention on the investments and reforms that will improve living standards and local and national productivity.

Self-sustaining growth strategy

The Territory’s new strategic infrastructure approach provides a clear direction and whole-of-government leadership for project planning, development and delivery. Northern Territory Infrastructure Commissioner, Louise McCormick, said the Northern Territory is a land of opportunity, rich in natural resources and with the capacity to grow as a service hub for renewable energy, defence, mining, advanced manufacturing, tourism and tropical horticulture.

“Our growth strategy is to move towards an economy that can be self-sustaining through attracting private sector investment. The Northern Territory has competitive advantages and the natural assets required to achieve a zero emissions future. With high solar irradiance and many of the critical minerals required for future renewable energy technologies, we have successfully attracted the interest of industries that will support global, reliable, renewable energy transition,” Ms McCormick said.

“The Northern Territory is an attractive investment destination and has proven its ability to deliver world-class projects, including the Ichthys LNG Project, which is ranked as one of the most significant oil and gas projects in the world. The Territory is also the focus for Sun Cable’s Australia-Asia Power Link project to develop the world’s largest solar energy infrastructure network to supply energy to Singapore.

“The Territory has produced a placed-based infrastructure framework which develops and delivers enabling infrastructure that multiple sectors can use, to make a strong business case for further investment in the Northern Territory.” The framework integrates land and infrastructure planning with economic development and population growth. It balances a stable long-term set of priorities to encourage and de-risk public and private sector investment while maintaining flexibility to meet the emerging demands.

“We have anticipated investment that will occur in the next five years that will impact the Territory’s economy, particularly jobs supported during construction and operations. The increase in job numbers is directly linked to population growth, which subsequently affects infrastructure needs,” Ms McCormick said.

Key enabling infrastructure projects and investments

Ms McCormick said the Northern Territory is currently developing and delivering nationally significant infrastructure projects, including:

♦ The Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct, a globally competitive, sustainable development precinct for low emission petrochemicals, renewable hydrogen, carbon capture storage and minerals processing. The precinct will drive industry diversification, exports, jobs and population growth over the next 50 years

♦ Enabling infrastructure to promote the development of the Beetaloo sub-basin, which has the potential to be a world-class gas province. Development of the Beetaloo will increase gas supply, create jobs and drive significant economic growth in the Territory and Australia

♦ The Darwin Ship Lift and Marine Industry Park, which will establish Darwin as a thriving maritime services hub, capitalising on the Territory’s strategic location in the Asia Pacific region

♦ Regional logistics hubs that are an important part of the land transport network and will include rail sidings and loops, intermodal facilities and adjacent industrial land and facilities to service the hubs. The common user hubs will better connect the Territory’s commodities to markets and are a key element of capitalising on the increased investment in the Northern Territory, sustainably

In addition, the Northern Territory is delivering further key enabling infrastructure investments to further develop, sustain and grow the Territory, including:

♦ Darwin Regional Water Supply Program including Manton Dam Return to Service and Adelaide River Off-Stream Water Storage to ensure a safe, secure, reliable and sustainable water supply to enable economic activity to support growth and provide water security across the region

♦ Infrastructure to keep pace with the Territory’s current economic growth including housing and land release for both residential and industrial use

Continuing to invest in strategic road corridors including the Central Arnhem Road and Tanami Road, to help enable economic growth in the Territory’s regions.

For more information about the Territory’s enabling infrastructure agenda, and to read the Plan and Pipeline, please visit dipl.nt.gov.au/industry/nt-infrastructure-plan-and-pipeline-2022.

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