Business bulletin - 22 October 2015

Luxury hotel on the cards

The Northern Territory’s ability to attract a lucrative section of the tourism market is about to increase, with a luxury hotel development on the cards.

Expressions of Interest are open for a pocket of waterfront land for a development with a minimum number of luxury rooms, 24 hour room service, day spa and boutique retails shops, bars and restaurants.

Currently only eight percent of Darwin’s room stock is nominated as ‘5 Star’,  and it is expected that an increase in luxury accommodation options will strengthen Darwin’s ability to attract the business conference market, worth about $89 million to the NT economy each year.

Minister for Asian Engagement and Trade Peter Styles announced the EOI at a Hotel Industry Conference in Hong Kong, saying such a development would attract visitors with high spending and investment potential.

The EOI process will be comprised of two phases, involving an initial non-binding offer phase, followed by a short-listing process. 

Short-listed bidders would then be invited to submit fully developed and costed final bids, with a preferred proponent expected to be announced mid next year.

A government-owned waterfront site has been earmarked for the development but proponents are welcome to suggest other locations.

Tourism businesses in Batchelor

Tourism businesses in Batchelor are set to improve their offerings, with upgrades to the iconic Batchelor Butterfly Farm, installation of solar power at the Rum Jungle Bungalows and new cabins at the Litchfield Tourist Park.

The improvements will be funded through the Northern Territory’s Tourism Infrastructure Development Fund, which is geared to expanding the range of tourism experiences on offer in the Territory.

The fund is particularly focussed on regional and remote areas, to drive economic development and jobs growth.

The three projects are:

  • Batchelor Butterfly Farm - $27,272 - Upgrades to the butterfly house including a new cover and boardwalk with central lookout platform.
  • Rum Jungle Bungalows - $30,000 - Installation of solar power and a water bore.
  • Litchfield Tourist Park - $65,000 - Building a new luxury two bedroom family cabin.

Indigenous Economic Development Forum

Hundreds of people have put their heads together in Alice Springs this week, to share ideas on Indigenous Economic Development.

The two-day forum is a key event in this year's October Business Month and gives Indigenous people in business the opportunity to develop new skills and network.

The Chief Minister Adam Giles delivered the opening address, stressing the importance of Indigenous business and employment in the Territory, especially in relation to the Developing the North agenda.

The forum also heard a powerful keynote speech from Chief Robert Louie, First Westbank Nation, Canada, who spoke of Indigenous economic development in his country.

More than 320 participants continued discussions on day two around Indigenous economic development and this year’s theme 'Developing the North'.

NT Home of the Year... and the winner is...

Abode New Homes has been crowned king of the castle at the Housing Industry Association Awards, winning the coveted Home of the Year for 2015.

Around 320 industry leaders attended the awards, which recognise excellence in design, construction and sustainability of housing in the Northern Territory.

Judged by industry professionals, the awards acknowledged the talent of designers, builders and building companies in planning and constructing quality new housing, townhouses, renovations and outdoor projects.

The judging panel noted that Adobe New Homes’ Custom Built Home in Howard Springs featured exceptional quality throughout with 3.6 metre high set ceilings, marble flooring and innovative construction techniques, making it a hidden jewel in the tropics.

Other 2015 Northern Territory winners included:

  • GreenSmart Energy Efficient Home of the Year: Killarney Homes
  • Project Home of the Year: Northern Star Homes
  • Custom Built Home of the Year: Abode New Homes Pty Ltd
  • Display Home of the Year: Killarney Homes 'The Tipperary'
  • Renovation/Addition Project of the Year: Sark Builders Pty Ltd
  • Spec Home of the Year: Vantage Homes Pty Ltd
  • Outdoor Project of the Year: Abode New Homes Pty Ltd
  • Apartment Complex: The Makrylos Group
  • Townhouse / Villa of the Year: Vantage Homes Pty Ltd
  • Townhouse / Villa Development: Vantage Homes Pty Ltd
  • Specialised Housing: Abode New Homes Pty Ltd.

Hospitality excellence acknowledged at Gold Plate Awards

The best the Northern Territory Hospitality Industry has to offer was celebrated at the Australian Hotels Association NT (AHA NT) Gold Plate Awards Gala Dinner.

Pee Wee’s at the Point was named ALM Gold Plate 'Restaurant of the Year' for the second time in three years.

Other award winners included: Fork n Dagger at Rydges Palmerston which claimed the 'Best New Establishment' award, while Karen Sheldon Catering took out the 'Best Function / Event Caterer' for the third straight year and Rum Jungle Tavern was recognised in the 'Best Public Hotel Dining' and 'Best Casual Dining' categories. The Minister for Business Encouragement Award was also presented to Alice Springs Golf Club after it came in a very close second in both the Club Restaurant and Casual Dining categories.

Spending in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food in the Territory was valued at $454.6 million in the year to August 2015, showing the industry is a significant contributor to economic and employment outcomes.

Minister for Business Peter Styles said that good food and service also adds to the tourism experience and to the ability of the Territory to attract people to live and work here.

"Receiving a Gold Plate symbolises the highest accolade restaurants or dining establishments can achieve in the NT."

Congratulations to all of the winners.

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Last updated: 22 April 2016