Business bulletin - 21 July 2016

A first for NT Business of the Year

Group shot of the 2016 Telstra Business Award winners

Territory organisation ‘Helping People Achieve’, or HPA, has become the first ever charity organisation in Australia to be named Telstra Business of the Year at a state or territory level.

HPA received the accolade at the NT Telstra Business Awards last week, for their work providing supported employment and residential options for Territorians living with disabilities.

They are committed to breaking down barriers for Territorians with physical and intellectual challenges and inspiring and empowering them to lead fulfilling lives.

CEO Tony Burns said the organisation’s goal was to inspire and empower people to lead fulfilling lives.

"Helping People Achieve is not just a name. We are passionate about improving the lives of Territorians with disabilities and bringing about positive change.

"To get the recognition for all the hard work and tireless hours that we’ve been doing is really incredible and heartfelt," he said.

"There are amazing organisations out there in there in the community so to be part of that, and to be a voice for that sector is very special."

Earlier this year HPA received funding through the Community Benefit Fund to convert the outdoor areas at it's Winnellie head office and Kokoda Industries workshop into a wheelchair accessible Community Hub.

The hub will not only provide an inviting work space for HPA’s employees but also allow it to showcase what is being produced within the workshop.

"We are so grateful for the Department of Business they have been part of our incredible ride and have been a massive inspiration towards helping us with our big plans for our Community Hub," Mr Burns said. 

"We have a lot more exciting projects underway and look forward to creating an environment of inspiration for our staff, and encouraging more business owners to think about employing people with disabilities."

HPA also claimed the inaugural Charity Award category at the NT Telstra Business Awards.

Other winners included:

  • Territory Logistic Solutions - 2016 Telstra New Business Award
  • Champagne Dance Fitness Studio - 2016 Telstra Micro Business Award
  • Top End Medical Centre (Darwin) - 2016 Telstra Small Business Award

SME development program

Engineer surveying pipework at gas plant

Territory oil and gas businesses can build their capability to identify and capitalise on opportunities in a rapidly changing sector, thanks to a new program developed by the Petroleum Club NT.

The SME Maximiser Development Program focuses on business readiness as the oil and gas sector transitions from construction to operations and maintenance phase of the Ichthys LNG project, Prelude FLNG and ongoing maintenance for Darwin LNG. 

The program is designed for businesses to understand where their capability fits into the operations and maintenance supply chain.

Sonia Harvey, CEO of the Petroleum Club NT said that understanding the opportunities across project phases will assist local SMEs maintain operational excellence and profitability while developing a strategy for potential business growth.

"The focus will now be on building long term relationships that will provide opportunity locally for business over the next 20 years," she said.

"Ensuring support is available to our local businesses will be the key to our success and business must be willing to consider collaboration and strategic growth with fresh mindset.

"It’s essential that government, large businesses and SMEs work together, with each playing a role in building the future of the Territory."

Thomas and McKinlay Principal Howard Thomas, and Deloitte National Director Oil and Gas, Geoffrey Cann will lead participants through a three-phase program. Businesses will be encouraged to explore new market opportunities, develop strategies, consider aligning with other businesses for more complex contracts and position themselves to endure economic changes by becoming more productive.

The phases are:

Phase 1: Industry education and opportunity identification
Phase 2: Business analysis and strategic development
Phase 3: Face to face engagement and capability profiling event with Operators and Tier 1 Contractor teams.

Date: PHASE 1: 25 to 26 July
Time: 8am to 5pm
Venue: Oaks Elan Darwin
Cost: From $250 for 2 x company representatives.

Register by Friday 22 July 2016 at

And for more information, contact the Petroleum Club NT at

Fresh meat

Slice of steak on a chopping board

A new boutique abattoir has opened outside Darwin, supplying locally processed meat to the local market.

Go Wide Cattle Company’s meat processing facility at Batchelor became operational earlier this month.

Co-owners Peter Cogill and Fiona McBean have been running cattle since 2011 but wanted to diversify their income stream, something Ms McBean said took a long time to make reality. 

"The idea came to us about four years ago. Pete already had the necessary skills to carry out the butchering however to make it viable I had to get a meat inspector’s licence as there was no way we could get someone down from Darwin every time we wanted to process.

"The Department of Primary Industries was fantastic, and made sure we didn’t go down the wrong track or spend money on things we didn’t need to."

"We run 300 head at Cameron Downs and 400 out on agistment at various other properties. By processing only our own cattle we can keep control of our product. At the moment we’re doing home deliveries and selling to local pubs, everyone has been really supportive."

Ms McBean said they had also accessed Department of Business support, through the Indigenous Business Development Program who assisted with the cost of the build, and through the Business Growth program.

"We did market research through Business Growth. We found that there was a huge interest in local produce, including local meat.

"We also found women between 25 and 35 were our biggest market, people who are really conscious of what they’re eating and where it came from," she said.

Go Wide Cattle Co will be exhibiting their bulls at Darwin Show, under their Eva Valley Meats banner.

To find out more, go to

Heading to Indonesia

Map of Indonesia

Territory-based companies are invited to be part of a trade mission to Indonesia’s largest regional mining and trade show.

The Department of Business will lead a Northern Territory delegation to attend the 12th Balikpapan Mining and Petroleum Expo from 11 to 13 August.

Department of Business Manager for Trade, John McCue said the expo will provide participants with excellent commercial exposure to a range of service and supply opportunities across industry.

"It is also an opportunity for Northern Territory participants to gain first-hand knowledge of the opportunities and challenges of doing business in Indonesia."

Balikpapan is the industrial hub of Eastern Indonesia and is the major supply centre to some of Indonesia’s largest mining and oil and gas operations.

"We hope to have representatives from our higher education, IT, engineering, civil construction and environmental management sectors join our trade mission next month.

"Previous trade missions have assisted local companies win business in the Indonesian market and I encourage the Territory’s service and supply sector to get involved in this fantastic opportunity," Mr McCue said.

Participants may be eligible for financial assistance under the Northern Territory Government’s Trade Support Scheme to attend the expo.

For further information phone (08) 8946 9553, email or go to

A big tick for red tape reduction

Cutting red tape 

Major achievements in cutting red tape have been highlighted in the 2016 Red Tape Report Card.

The report card looks at progress over the 12 months to June under the Red Tape Reduction Strategy, which aims to reduce paperwork and costs for businesses, and the number of unnecessary contacts with government.  

Costs of red tape in the construction industry will decrease, with surveyors now able to apply for survey data allocation online, lodge their plans and receive approvals online through the Survey Approvals Online gateway. The gateway will provide electronic notification to the Land Titles Office and will have the ability for development applications to be tracked from application lodgement to title issue and be a major benefit to the development industry.

The NT Planning Scheme has been amended to remove the 90 metre height limit on buildings in Darwin. Controlled road guidelines make it easier for developers to understand obligations and requirements for infrastructure, traffic, operation, management, capacity and safety.

This sector has been a major focus in the past year, with the completion of a review by the Construction Development Advisory Council, highlighting key reforms which have been endorsed by government and are in the process of implementation.

Harnessing the internet has been a major focus for cutting red tape across many sectors in the past year, with businesses now able to improve efficiencies by getting more approvals and licences online, saving time and reducing duplication. More than 2,300 food businesses now able to register, pay for and renew licences online. Businesses can also apply for and renew environmental approvals and licences online.

Licence terms have been lengthened for 500 real estate agents, 105 auctioneers, 150 commercial and private agents and 300 tobacco retailers. This reduces the requirement to renew licences every year, to an option of one, three or five years. The longer licence terms have been introduced for tour operators, who now also have the ability to apply online.

In the agricultural sector, up to 200 pastoralists will benefit from changes to 1080 Wild Dog Management Program, with annual permits replaced with five year permits which are more flexible and reforms which allow coordination with neighbours. Legislation passed in June will introduce longer licence terms for shooters - for sport, work and business.

And crocodile farmers will now be able to get a ten year enterprise permit, reducing the burden on the industry.

To find out more go to

Home Improvement Scheme, $1m in vouchers issues to Territory homeowner-occupiers

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Last updated: 25 October 2018