Business bulletin - August 2015

Billion dollar prawn farm planned for the Territory

What could be Australia’s biggest prawn farm has been awarded major project status by the Northern Territory and Australian governments, which will facilitate project development across government agencies.

Project Sea Dragon is the $1.45 billion project to be developed by Australia’s largest farmed prawn producer, the Seafarms Group Limited. The farm will be located at Legune Station on the coastline, near the Western Australian border and will ultimately span 10,000 hectares of grow-out ponds and produce more than 100,000 tonnes of Black Tiger prawns each year.

There will be a primary focus on supplying the Asian export market.

Project Sea Dragon is the largest aquaculture project ever proposed in Australia. Three years and more than $16 million has been spent on site assessments and feasibility studies.

Construction is expected to commence next dry season with the first stage of farm production to commence in 2018. The project will continue to be scaled up until all stages are completed by 2023.

Project Sea Dragon will create 200-300 construction jobs and 1,600 direct sustainable jobs at full operation. One thousand of these jobs will be Northern Territory-based, 65% of which will be remotely based, boosting remote and Indigenous employment and local economies. During Stage 1, there will be 100 jobs at Legune Station, 100 jobs in Kununurra, and 80 jobs in Darwin. The Seafarms Group is committed to developing a sustainable remote workforce through training and creating socially supportive infrastructure.

The project will develop in three to five stages and operations are to include all aspects of prawn production, including domestication, breeding and production of post larvae from hatcheries, grow-out in land based ponds and processing for shipping.

The project will leverage Australia’s comparative advantages in biosecurity, marine science, access to key raw materials and expertise in large scale resource and agricultural development.

A rising global middle class, over-fished fisheries, high nutritional value and the cost competitiveness of aquaculture production are all market factors driving a 75% increase in the global demand for seafood over the next 35 years.

Expression of Interest opportunity - Uluru

Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park is an iconic part of the Northern Territory and Australia. The Uluru Board of Management is calling for Expressions of Interest for new tourism and commercial activities within the park.

Territory businesses are invited to take advantage of a unique opportunity to invest in one of the world’s most recognised locations.

Do you have a big idea for an innovative and sustainable visitor experience or commercial activity within the park? The Uluru Board wants to hear ideas for fresh, exciting and engaging visitor experiences and commercial activities that complement existing operations. Applications are open until 4pm Wednesday 30 September 2015.

Free workshops to develop your business

Business Upskills is a program of practical and hands-on workshops facilitated by industry experts to help business owners develop and strengthen their businesses. Held around the Territory throughout the year, the workshops provide business owners with valuable networking opportunities and access to support programs as their business continues to grow.

The fully funded workshops focus on four key topics: Business Management, Finance, Human Resources and Marketing.

Upskills is part of a suite of programs offered by the Department of Business to help Territory businesses to start, run and grow.

Over 700 NT Business people attended 51 Upskills workshops last financial year, with many going on to develop their businesses into award winning, innovative and profitable ventures.

Recent winner of the 2015 Telstra NT Small Business Award, Donna McRae from Northtech Solutions has attended many workshops.

"The Business Upskills workshops cover all of the essential topics for the administration and management of a small business," said Donna McRae.

"Attending the workshops is a great way to improve your knowledge in an area your business might be lacking and to network with other small business owners and managers.

"Every workshop I have attended has led to us making small adjustments and improvements to some aspect of our business operations."

Northern Territory Crocodile Farming Industry Strategic Plan 2015-21 released

The first framework for developing the Territory’s $25 million crocodile industry was launched at Crocodylus Park on Thursday 13 August 2015.

The Strategic Plan has the support of the Crocodile Farmers Association of the NT (CFANT) and NT Government agencies.

Business Minister Peter Styles said the Strategic Plan will optimise economic opportunities for the Territory’s important crocodile industry while protecting the NT’s conservation credentials.

"The Strategic Plan outlines a shared government-private sector vision for the future of the Northern Territory's crocodile farming industry and complements the NT Government’s Saltwater Crocodile Management Program," the Business Minister said.

"Northern Territory crocodile farmers are global leaders in the supply of highest quality saltwater crocodile skins to international fashion markets. Skins produced in the Northern Territory are highly sought in Japan, France, and Italy, and the high-end fashion products made from them are imported into the USA.

"The $25 million industry is a success story in sustainable wildlife use, incentive driven conservation and first world animal welfare.

"Saltwater crocodiles have proven to be a natural renewable resource with enormous economic potential, in terms of export income, employment, technological innovation and economic development, particularly in remote Aboriginal communities."

Chair of the Crocodile Farmers Association of the NT, Mr Mick Burns said that the industry can double in value over the next five years to almost $50 million as a result of industry expansion and production efficiencies, while continuing with world's best practice animal welfare and wildlife management.

"As an industry we believe we can achieve this through expansion and production efficiencies, while continuing with world's best practice animal welfare and wildlife management" said Mick Burns.

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Last updated: 25 October 2018