Business bulletin - 3 March 2016

Buy Local Plan launched

The business community was out in force to usher in the NT Government’s new Buy Local Plan at Parliament House last week.

Extensive consultations with businesses, industry and associations across the Territory provided feedback that former processes were too complicated and local businesses were missing out on opportunities.

The Buy Local Plan introduces a suite of measures designed to ensure local businesses are given the chance to gain a greater percentage of the $3 billion NT Government spends each year.

The Buy Local Plan will improve the way the local benefits of a tender application are identified, evaluated and delivered at all stages of the procurement and contracting lifecycle.

Key elements of the Buy Local Plan include:

  • Mandatory local involvement in all requests for quotes worth up to $100,000 is now in place, in addition to existing local content requirements for all tenders above $100,000. 
  • To support this measure a new term 'Territory Enterprise' has been introduced to identify local businesses as 'An enterprise operating in the Northern Territory, with a significant permanent presence in the NT and employing NT residents'.
  • The minimum weighting of local content and benefits has been increased from 20% to 25% in all government quotes and tenders.
  • Ensuring local content commitments included in tender responses are carried through into the contract terms and are monitored throughout.
  • An independent Local Benefit Advisory Panel (LBAP) of Territorians is being established to review and advise on Buy Local aspects of the tender responses and contracts estimated to be worth more than $5 million. The LBAP is currently being finalised and will be announced in the near future.

The Buy Local Plan can be found at www.buylocal.nt.gov.au

Australasian Oil and Gas 2016

Transitioning from construction to production phases was top of the agenda at Australia's largest oil and gas supply and service expo and conference in Perth last week.

Fifteen Territory business representatives from a range of industry sectors attended the Australasian Oil and Gas Expo 2016 (AOG 2016).

These sectors included metal fabrication and civil and electrical engineering, surveying, information technology, personnel recruitment and FIFO accommodation provision.

The event attracts delegates from around the world, with participants including Shell, INPEX, Technip, Conoco and eni. 

The themes of AOG 2016 were collaboration, innovation and efficiency, as the North Australian petroleum industry shifts from a major construction boom through to production and maintenance.

It was timely theme for NT business as major projects such as INPEX's Ichthys LNG Project and Shell's Prelude FLNG Project transition from construction to operations in the coming one to two years. 

One of the local businesses seeking new and on-going commercial opportunities was Osprey Global Recruitment, which has recently opened an office in Darwin.

General Manager David Walker said being part of the delegation had been very beneficial to his business, which has established itself in Darwin.

"It has assisted us to cement relationships with our NT clients and has been a tremendous avenue to allow us to represent the Territory with Government and our fellow NT clients.

"It has also given us a very prominent avenue to showcase business and projects that are happening now and in the future and to let companies know how good it is to be doing business in the NT."

The Department of Business has coordinated participation at AOG and is the first in a series of major petroleum industry events where the Northern Territory Government will be getting in behind our supply and service companies to bring more business to the Territory, with preparations for strong Team NT presences underway for LNG18, APPEA and SEAAOC. 

Business bootcamp

A group of aspiring Aboriginal business people are today a step closer to running their own enterprises.

Eleven remote Territorians have spent this week in Darwin at the Business in the Bush bootcamp, today emerging with a plan for getting their businesses started.

The partnership between the Department of Business, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and '48.5' Consulting delivered a series of 15 workshops in communities across the NT late last year.

Of the 123 who attended, 10 were then selected to take part in the accelerator course this week.

Based at the Rusca Bros training facility in Noonamah, members of the group have travelled from as far as Yuendumu, Lajamanu, Hermansburg, Numbulwar, Borroloola, Galiwinku and Ramingining.

They have been immersed in an intensive course of workshops, mentoring, presentations, networking and business planning.

After returning home, they will be supported through the next stages of starting up their businesses in their communities, by Department of Business Development Officers.

Cutting red tape

Unnecessary red tape across the Territory’s tourism and hospitality sector is about to get the chop.

After being formed late last year, the Tourism Advisory Council (TAC) is conducting a review of red tape issues in the industry.

The council has ten members from across the NT, charged with identifying unnecessary red tape, which can reduce productivity, consume substantial resources in compliance activity and stifle innovation.

The TAC has engaged Deloitte to survey businesses, operators and service providers in the NT tourism and hospitality sector.

The Tourism Advisory Council will make its final recommendations on regulatory requirements and administrative processes by 30 April 2016.

This is your opportunity to have your say to identify and reduce red tape issues affecting your business and your industry.

Complete the online survey, all responses are confidential.

Darwin cruise ship boom

Darwin residents will have noticed an influx of cruise ship passengers, with the city in the middle of a bumper cruise season that will see up to 20,000 visitors over a four week period.

The first of 13 cruise ships, The Amsterdam and the Pacific Princess, docked on 20 February kicking off Darwin's cruise calendar's busiest period. It also signalled the start of a number of 'Double Days' where two ships dock in Darwin on the same day providing a double dose of visitors to the city.

Sunday 20 March is set to be the busiest day of the cruise season with a combined passenger capacity of over 4,500 on two ships, the Celebrity Millennium and Radiance of the Sea, docking in Darwin.

This significant influx of tourist is great news for local tourism operators and businesses with many cruise ship passengers undertaking tours while on shore, visiting local attractions and shopping at local retail outlets, cafes and restaurants.

The cruise industry is important to the Top End as it provides a steady stream of tourists into the region during the off peak and shoulder season. During the last financial year the Northern Territory cruise industry injected an estimated $54 million into the local economy.

A record 46 cruise ships are expected in Darwin in 2015-16 and carry a passenger capacity of more than 70,000, the largest Darwin has ever had. Thirty of these visits will occur over the 'cruise season' which will run from October until the end of April. 

Private business investment $12.5 billion, up 18.7% 

Last updated: 12 October 2017