Business bulletin - 17 December 2015

Message from the Chief Executive Officer

It’s been a big year for Territory businesses and for those in the public service who strive to make the Territory the best place to work and do business.

I would like to thank everyone who has worked together with the Department of Business over the past 12 months and acknowledge their contributed to local industry and the economic growth of the NT. 

Our team, including our Territory Business Centers will take a break between Christmas and New Year. All of our services are open and available until COB Thursday 24 December and will reopen on Monday 4 January.

I’d like to wish you all a happy and safe festive season, and look forward to continuing to work together in 2016.

Michael Tennant
Chief Executive Officer

Throwing open the doors

Territorians have been given a taste of a new program of business events, Open Territory, following its launch at Darwin’s premier food and wine restaurant, Wharf One, this week.

The inaugural program of events will span from mid-March through to mid-May next year and showcase what Territory businesses, suppliers and industries have to offer. Events will include sports, arts and cultural activities.

The program will include a series of business to business events to provide networking opportunities, professional and business development and trade and investment opportunities.

Open Territory will also provide opportunities for Northern Territory small to medium enterprises to enhance their profiles and connect with national and international opportunities.

The program of events will complement October Business Month and give Territorians an opportunity to attend a business focused event every six months.

One of the many events on offer is the Territory Taste Festival. The festival will be based around the enjoyment of food that represents Northern Territory producers, farmers, growers, traders and the hospitality as a whole.

It will feature food and wine testing, pop-up restaurants, Aboriginal bush tucker, chef demonstrations, cooking classes and a 150ft table dinner party.

Other Open Territory highlights include:

  • The Regional Australia Asian Chambers Forum: Run by the NT Chamber of Commerce, this event will attract senior representatives from Chambers of Commerce across the South East and North Asia region and from within Australia to discuss key issues facing the growth of business in our region.
  • Trade Expo: Businesses will showcase goods and services from across the Territory with participants experiencing what small to medium enterprises have to offer.
  • Northern Australia Food Futures Conference: The Northern Territory Farmers Association will host the 2016 Northern Australia Food Futures Conference in Darwin, which focus on agricultural cropping.
  • Red Carpet Investors Forum: The two-day event will provide opportunities organisations to mingle with successful global entrepreneurs, government ministers and businesses to investigate investment possibilities in key industry sectors in the NT. 

Further events will be added to the program with our partners over the coming weeks.

For more information please visit

Innovators takes centre stage

It has been a big week for NT innovators, with a major federal policy announcement, as well as the unveiling of the winners of the Department of Business’ latest grant funding round.

There of the big winners in the latest Business Innovation Support Initiatives (BISI) grant round are:

  • Steve Rowe and Associates search and rescue drone: this drone will operate in high risk and time critical searches. It can be deployed to scout areas and ensure it is safe for emergency service personnel and vehicles to enter ahead of time. The drone also includes thermal imaging to monitor victims.
  • Centre for Appropriate Technology: hot spots that expand mobile phone coverage into remote areas, enhancing this technology will further increase the range of hotspots.
  • Maitec: a drone that maps the condition of agricultural fields - the use of remote sensing technologies will help manage farming agricultural crops and horticulture.

The BISI grants program launched on 1 July 2014 and is designed to encourage and enable innovation within the Northern Territory business community.

The program includes vouchers of up to $25,000 and competitive grants of up to $60,000 to commercialise innovations.

Since its inception $186,000 worth of vouchers have been awarded to 10 applicants and $136,000 in BISI grants have been awarded to four applicants.

Meanwhile the Federal Government will spend almost $1.1 billion to promote an 'ideas boom' over the next four years, with the money to be spent promoting business-based research, development and innovation.

Business mentors wanted

An exciting opportunity exists for Top End business leaders to help shape the next generation of young entrepreneurs.

The Palmerston Regional Business Association is developing ways to connect the local business community with Territory students.

One initiative includes business leaders mentoring students aged between 14 and 17 who are either studying business in middle or high school, have participated in the Young Business Awards / $20 Boss program or who are interested in starting their own business.

The mentor and mentee will be matched according to skill sets and objectives to achieve the best outcome for the student.

Mentors will provide guidance to the student to assist the growth of their idea and their development as a young entrepreneur.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor or would like more information please view Young Sustainable Entrepreneur Award.

Have your say on Australia’s migration program

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) wants to hear from Territory employers of overseas visa holders this Friday.

Consultation for the 2016-17 Migration Program will take place tomorrow, 18 December.

Australia’s Migration Program consists of both skilled and family migration and the overall objective of the programme is to contribute to the nation’s economic, demographic and social well-being.

Consultations will seek feedback on the size, balance and composition of the program from the community, businesses and industry.

The feedback will establish what factors need to be taken into consideration in planning Australia’s future migration intakes, including longer term indicators.

This is your opportunity to provide your views to DIBP staff and discuss issues relevant to you or your industry. Please note that stakeholder feedback on the size and composition of the Humanitarian Programme are collected through a separate process.

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Last updated: 25 October 2018