Business bulletin - 15 December 2016

A boost for business

The $10 million Immediate Work Grants will support local jobs and Territory businesses.

Grants of up to $100,000 will be awarded to eligible not-for-profit and community organisations to engage local businesses to upgrade their property and facilities.

Not-for-profit organisations can apply now for up to 10 jobs completed to a maximum value of $100,000. The Northern Territory Government will also match any renovation costs that exceed $100,000 on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to a maximum of $200,000. All works must use local tradies and businesses.

The grants will deliver upgrades to the facilities of more than 100 not-for-profit and community organisations across the Territory.

Organisations and businesses can go to to find out more, and to submit their applications.

Public information forums about the Immediate Work Grants will be held across the Territory over the next month.

The information sessions will allow small businesses, tradies and community organisations to find out more about how they can benefit from the grant program.

Information sessions will be held in Darwin on Thursday 15 December, Alice Springs on Tuesday 10 January and Katherine on Thursday 12 January. Dates for Nhulunbuy and Tennant Creek will be announced soon.

The Immediate Work Grants are part of the government’s recently announced $22 million Immediate Works Stimulus Package, which will support smaller infrastructure projects across the Territory.

As well as grants for not-for-profit and community organisations the stimulus package also includes:

  • $5 million for repairs and upgrades to urban Public Housing stock
  • $5 million to support the Territory’s steel industry
  • $2 million for repairs and maintenance to remote health clinics.

For more information on the Immediate Work Grants and the Immediate Work Stimulus Package, visit or email

Constructions workers building a house

Over 250 people participating in Economic Summits so far

The Economic Summits are continuing across the Territory and Phase 2 is now under way.

The Department of Trade, Business and Innovation, in partnership with independent consultants Deloitte, delivered the first phase of consultations in all major centres of the Territory with industry groups, business, regional economic development committees and local stakeholders.

Outcomes from these sessions will help shape the next 10 years of the Northern Territory’s economic development.

“So far the Economic Summits have engaged 114 organisations and around 250 people, and early in the New Year, Territorians will have the opportunity to contribute as a series of mini-summits – or public forums - get underway across the NT,” Chief Minister Michael Gunner said.

Mr Gunner said initial consultations revealed several common issues including limitations around the key factors of production – land, labour and capital. Enterprise and innovation, connectivity, relationships and liveability also featured strongly.

“From the common issues raised, six preliminary factors or ‘levers’ have been refined which we can utilise to accelerate economic growth - Land, People, Capital, Enterprise and Innovation, Connectivity and Liveability,” Mr Gunner said.

These levers will be the focus of the next phase of the summit process, which will develop principles, targeted strategies and recommendations.

“We want to work together to build a better Territory by driving economic development and creating jobs for current and future Territorians.

Phase 2 includes half-day design sessions, held in Darwin and Alice Springs during December, Nhulunbuy in January, and Katherine and Tennant Creek during February.

The groups invited to the design sessions will be targeted to ensure a mix of representation for the region and also that there are subject matter experts relevant to each of the themes to be discussed.

People in a business meeting

Humpty Doo Barramundi up scale production

An increase in the demand for premium saltwater barramundi has seen Territory business, Humpty Doo Barramundi (HDB) expand productions.

Last financial year Humpty Doo Barramundi produced 1,700 tonnes of premium salt water barramundi making its Australia largest barramundi producer and the most successful aquaculture industry in the Territory.

The new expansion, which will add 1000 tonnes of production capacity this year and another 1000 tonnes next year will more than double the production of capacity of the farm over the next couple of years and increase their export market.

“Demand for our product is mostly local but we do believe there is a place for premium Australian saltwater barramundi in international markets,” HDB General Manager Dan Richards said.

“Earlier this year we began trial shipments of premium saltwater barramundi to Asia and the USA and so far the response has been great, they love it!” he said.

In 2015 HDB General Manager Dan Richards was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship to travel the world to learn about different farming businesses practices and systems.

Over the past 12 months he has travelled to 14 countries around the world including Asia, the USA, Europe and Middle East and has already begun implementing what he has learnt.

“Looking ahead we want to incorporate the best innovative technology into Australian barramundi farming to ensure the best possible product ends up on the plate.”

HDB employs over 40 locals and works closely with over 60 local businesses in the running and development of its farming enterprise.

“Our new farm development has been the result of an outstanding effort by our whole team and key contractors. We are really excited to be bringing our new production on line.”

Future expansion planned to continue next dry season will, over the next eight years, see HDB produce 10,000 tonnes of premium salt water farmed barramundi per year valued over $100 million at the farm gate and employing over 100 people.

“We are a home grown Territory business and we love creating opportunities for Territorians. With the new expansion we are going to see more job opportunities for locals.” Mr Richards said.

“We are committed to ongoing economic growth of the Territory as well as promoting our regional seafood products on an international stage.”

NT Barramundi Farm

Photo: Aerial view of the Humpty Doo Barramundi Farm

Coates wins Ichthys LNG operational contract

The local branch of Coates Hire has secured a three-year multi-million dollar contract to supply general hire equipment and industrial tooling support for the operational phase of the INPEX-led Ichthys LNG Project.

The contract includes the supply of industrial tooling, material handling, power generation, air compressors, lighting towers and elevated work platforms as well as a 24-hour repair and Coates standard replacement call-out service.

Coates Hire Area Manager NT Simon Dring said the contract would change the company’s business focus in the Top End from its traditional base of general equipment hire.

“The future of our business in the Territory will be enhanced through industrial tooling services, which supplements our existing comprehensive product offering in the NT,” Mr Dring said.

Coates Hire has supplied equipment and support towards the construction of the Ichthys Project’s Bladin Point facilities for five years.

“This contract will support our business to be sustainable after the construction phase of the Project finishes.”

“We’ve been in business in Darwin for more than 20 years and we’re looking forward to what our steady state of operations will be,” Mr Dring said.

“Our safety focus definitely helped secure this contract to support Ichthys LNG operations.”

INPEX and the NT Government recently signed an agreement reaffirming INPEX’s commitment for Territory workers and businesses to continue to benefit from the Ichthys LNG Project’s 40-year operational life.

Coates Hire is also committed to local NT industry participation to support their Ichthys LNG contract.

Two tradesman

Photo: Coates Hire's Hamish Fairchild and Simon Dring will supply equipment to support Ichthys LNG Project operations.

2017 Study Scholarships

Over $600,000 worth of higher education scholarships are now available for Territory school leavers seeking to further their studies.

The scholarships, which provide financial support to students while they study their first undergraduate degree, are valued at $5000 per year, for the minimum time it takes to complete the course at the full-time study load.

In 2017 there are 40 higher education scholarships available to be awarded by the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (or equivalent), with the top 10 successful applicants receiving an additional $1500 in the first year of study.

The Bernie Kilgariff Memorial Scholarship – valued at $3000 - is also available to assist an Alice Springs Year 12 school leaver undertaking tertiary studies in a medical or health related field.

“The Northern Territory Government supports Territorians to further their knowledge and skills to ensure local people have the greatest chance to take up job opportunities here in the Territory,” Executive Director of Employment and Skilling NT, Kim Jenkinson said.

“By assisting Territorians, we are striving to improve the skills of the Territory’s workforce and encourage greater industry diversification and growth so that the Territory will continue to grow both economically and socially,” he said

Applications close on 10 March 2017.

For more information visit or email

Group of students sitting on grass and smiling

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Last updated: 09 April 2019