Business bulletin - 23 June 2016

Northern Australia on the agenda

Developing Northern Australia Conference 2016 

Jobs and economic growth were a key focus of the 2016 Developing Northern Australia Conference this week.

Around 400 delegates gathered at the Darwin Convention Centre to focus on priorities for delivering long term economic benefits to the Territory, as the Federal Government’s Whitepaper on Developing Northern Australia nears its first full year of implementation.

This year’s conference theme was ‘Above the line-unleashing the North’s potential’exploring how industry, business, government and agribusinesses can further embrace the opportunities for sustainable growth into the next decade.

The conference also focussed on supporting traditional owners across the north, looking at opportunities and challenges in progressing diversification and development for Indigenous Territorians.

An expression of interest document was released on Monday, representing a collaborative effort by the Northern Territory Government and Tiwi Land Council to promote investment opportunities on the Tiwi Islands.

The document serves as a prospectus for the islands, outlining investment opportunities in tourism, aquaculture, agriculture and industry.

The conference hosted nine keynote speakers and 85 forum speakers over the two days, with topics including: land and water; business, trade and investment; infrastructure; food and agribusiness; industry working with Defence; Indigenous affairs; and tourism.

Nightcliff public housing redevelopment

Artist impression of John Stokes Square redevelopment 

The Northern Territory Government has announced plans to redevelop the 75-unit John Stokes Square public housing complex at Nightcliff.

Expressions of interest (EOI) are called for the project at 47 Progress Drive, with interested parties able to submit proposals for a mixed-use development with new residential, commercial and community spaces.

The concept must include the same number of public housing properties currently on the site.

The redevelopment of public housing complexes like John Stokes Square is an important part of the NT Government’s recently-released housing strategy, HousingActionNT, following best practice by redeveloping older public housing complexes and creating safer, highly-liveable mixed-use developments.

The Department of Housing will work with current tenants to help them move to other public housing properties, and housing staff are already visiting tenants, neighbours and local businesses to talk about the plans.

EOI submissions close 2pm on Friday 15 July. An information session for local contractors will provide information about how to tender for work.

Date: Friday 24 June
Time: 2pm
Where: Vibe Hotel, 7 Kitchener Drive, Darwin 

For further information or to get expression of interest documents contact Erin Munro on (08) 8999 4003, 0447 677 193 or

Excellence in training recognised

Group shot of Probuild workers 

Territory businesses leading the field in training are being celebrated, with the announcement of the 2016 NT Training Award finalists.

After more than six decades, the awards are the premier mode of recognition for Vocational Education and Training, celebrating the sector’s best trainees, apprentices, vocational students, training organisations, trainers and employers since 1955.

Small Employer of the Year finalist Nail Lovers Darwin have set themselves apart from the rest of the industry becoming the first nail parlour in Darwin to invest in an apprenticeship program, Certificate II in Nail Technology.

Director and senior nail technician, Thi Dang runs Nail Lovers Darwin with his business partner and wife Nguyet Vu.

"Nguyet Vu looks after the admin side of the business while I do most of the on the job training. We believe training is extremely important and plays a fundamental part in our business or any business," he said.

"We started with a total of five employees in 2012 and now grown to 10 employees including a combination full-time, part-time, casual and apprentices.

"Our success and everything we have achieved today comes from the dedication, love and support of our parents. Both our families were refugees from Vietnam and we were fortunate enough to come to Australia with barely any money and no word of English.

"They worked extremely hard to give us a better future and taught is strong values, commitment and hard work if you want to be successful. As well as training our staff with the skills to perform the job we also want to teach them the same values our parents taught us," Mr Dang said.

A new category Medium Employer of the Year has been introduced in 2016 with leading civil and commercial construction company Probuild (NT) named a finalist.

Established in Alice Springs as a family business 23 years ago, Probuild has grown to complete projects across the Territory, and opened a second office in Darwin.

Operations Manager Mick Betteridge said Probuild’s vision was to provide real outcomes with employing and training Territorians.

"Indigenous employment and training is a key part of that and I’m pleased to report that recent results show that we have excelled in making the most of the diverse opportunities the Territory offers," he said.

"Probuild recently conducted several training programs in Elliott and Beswick. We employed local community members who participated in the six week program, in total 75 nationally recognised competencies were delivered.

"We have also conducted two 12 week training program at NT Open Education Centre in Darwin. Participants were employed on site full-time and a portable classroom was set up onsite so they could be assessed in real time.

"After the successful outcome of these courses, Probuild has directly employed seven people full-time and also offered five full-time apprenticeships," Mr Betteridge said.

The winners from each NT Training Awards category will be shortlisted for the national training awards, which will be held in Darwin later this year.

Export and Industry Awards

Couple holding Export and Industry Award 

Nominations for the Chamber of Commerce 2016 NT Export and Industry Awards have opened, including a new category for innovation.

The awards recognise outstanding achievements of NT exporters and industry leaders, from which the overall 'Exporter of the Year' is chosen.

The awards operate as a two-tier process, with Northern Territory winners progressing to the national finals.

This year the Department of Business has sponsored the new Industry and Innovation Award for a Northern Territory business which has successfully implemented or commercialised innovative products, processes or services.

Last year’s Resource Supply and Service Award winners, Geoff and Janette Crowhurst said the win was a privilege at an important time for their business.

"We were working hard to get work in the door, and secure our Community Development Program, knowing that major projects in the defence and mining, oil and gas industries would be coming in the next six to 10 years," they said.

"We have seen major progress in both personal and skills growth of our participants; they are keen to be at work."

Businesses wanting to expand into exporting can access the Northern Territory Government Trade Support Scheme, which provides Northern Territory based organisations with financial help to offset the costs of international marketing activities.

The scheme aims to build stronger trading partnerships and create new export opportunities.

Go to more information on the Export and Industry Awards.

Go to the Trade Support Scheme.

Boost for two Territory institutions

Group shot of horses and riders 

Two iconic regional events - the Brunette Races and the Harts Range Bush Sports Weekend - have each received an injection of $15,000 annual funding for the next five years.

Brunette Downs Station is 135kms north of the Barkly Homestead and over the past century the Brunette Races have cemented themselves as the biggest event on the Barkly Tablelands Social Calendar.

Last weekend’s four-day event featured two full-days of horse racing, as well as camp draft and rodeo, gymkhanas for children and adults and novelty races like the ‘Battle of the Barkly’ event.

Harts Range is 215km north-east of Alice Springs, and has held the iconic Bush Sports Weekend, since 1946, coinciding with the dates of Darwin Cup long weekend, with stock-horse races, rodeo, gymkhana and novelty races.

Home Improvement Scheme, over 730 small business and tradies are now registered, view full list on website

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Last updated: 25 October 2018