The Darwin economy is going from strength to strength. The change in the sky-line is but one visible marker of the development of the town, as is the ever expanding suburban footprint and harbour projects visible on the horizon.
The key financial markers all point favourably to the Territory:
- the economy grew 4.4% in the last financial year, the second strongest growth in the country (after WA);
- the unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the country (after WA and ACT);
- the population growth rate is second only to WA; and
- the gross household income per capita is one of the highest in the country (after ACT and WA).
The effects of major gas projects are only just starting to be felt – but the full force of the INPEX Project, for instance, will not be felt for another couple of years. The key sectors of growth are in commercial construction and engineering (infrastructure projects); both sectors grew by 29.1% and 33.1% from June 2012 to June 2013. These are positive signs, as is the fact that private business investment grew by a staggering 107% from June 2012 to June 2013.
As well as offshore projects, there are a very large number of onshore projects, with the recently announced deal between the Northern Territory’s Power Water Corporation and Magellan Petroleum Corporation for the supply of up to 30 petajoules of gas for the domestic market. This deal underwrites the development of the Dingo Gas Field which is about 50 kilometres south of Alice Springs. The field was discovered in 1981 but was never fully developed, until now. This deal highlights the potential for new developments driven by market conditions.
It all points to exciting times and opportunities in the Top End of Australia.