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The Top End to remain a chart topper: Deloitte report

NT can continue its Endless Summer if it acts to catch coming growth waves


8 October 2013:  Five super-growth sectors worth an extra $250 billion to the national economy over the next 20 years hold the key to Australia’s future prosperity, according to a new report from Deloitte. The report, entitled Positioning for Prosperity? Catching the next wave, is the third edition of the firm’s Building the Lucky Country series.

A companion press release considers the national impacts.  However, Deloitte has also extended the analysis to each State and Territory.  That work finds the Northern Territory is well positioned to continue growing its economy as it capitalises on the coming wave of super-growth sectors – gas, agribusiness, tourism, international education and wealth management.

Indeed, there is already a lot of work underway in gas.  The Territory was slow to join the resource investment boom, but it is now the life of the party, with gas development a focus.  Relative to the size of its economy, the value of engineering construction work currently under construction in the NT is larger than that for Queensland and Western Australia. The value of the Ichthys LNG development itself is worth almost twice the value of the State’s annual economic output.

However, as currently experienced by WA and Queensland, even the biggest investment party must come to an end. Fortunately, combined with the possible commencement of a number of other resource projects, construction on the Ichthys project is expected to hold the NT in good stead until its completion in 2016.

This gives the Territory time to position for and catch the coming wave of super-growth sectors, as well as to help address the issues of cost competitiveness that need to change for the better in order to help the Top End remain at the forefront of global gas development.

In addition, there are other new opportunities opening up for the Territory.  Asia’s emerging middle class will force a change in the way Australia’s neighbours to the north impact on our economy. Rather than feeding an enormous demand for industrial resources, Australia’s future opportunities will gradually shift towards satisfying the demands of the middle class – good food, education, travel opportunities, clean energy and wealth management.  

Central to the Deloitte report is a Positioning for Prosperity map, which assesses where the next waves of prosperity are most likely to come from by plotting expected average global GDP growth rates over the next 20 years against the level of Australian competitive advantage for each sector.  Below are two versions of the map, one for Australia as a whole and one for the Northern Territory.

NT Managing Partner of Deloitte, Francis Thomas said:  “While we’re riding high on the current resources boom, we’re also in a good position to capitalise on the future opportunities as we shift our focus towards Asia’s emerging middle class.”

The NT’s announced 3-Hub strategy focusing on mining and energy, tourism and education, and food exports shows that the economy is already preparing for the coming shift.

The successful completion and operation of Darwin LNG, the construction underway at Ichthys and the potential for the Sunrise FLNG and Bonaparte FLNG projects to get underway ensures that the NT will cash in on Asia’s demand for clean burning gas.

Similarly, the continuing rise of Darwin and surrounding national parks as international tourist destinations, the falling Australian dollar and an expansion to the Darwin airport will ensure that tourism revenue continues to rise in the NT.

Moreover, global food demand is set to soar in coming decades, and that points to particular potential for NT agribusiness. Additionally, the construction of AACo’s meat processing facility in Livingston would add the missing ingredient to beef exports out of the region.

For Australia as a whole the future is looking bright as we position ourselves to prosper from Asia’s emerging middle class. For the NT, the rewards are already being felt as the Territory surfs the waves of opportunities in gas, tourism, education and agribusiness.  

NB: See our media releases and research at

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Job Title:
Vessa Playfair
Deloitte Australia
Job Title:
Head of Corporate Affairs
Tel: +61 2 9322 7576, Mobile: +61 419 267 676




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