Business bulletin - 6 April 2017


Man talking to audience at economic summit

The final Territory Economic Summit was held in Darwin last week, following five months of consultations across the Territory.

The economic summits process has been underway since October 2016, engaging with Territorians to co-design an economic development framework for the Territory.

General Manager of Northern Australia Development and Trade, Luke Bowen said "Between October 2016 and March 2017 we brought together business and industry, community groups, the not-for-profit sector, Indigenous organisations and government representatives from across the Territory for the series of consultations and public forums,"

"More than 190 key organisations and over 1,200 people engaged in these consultations, which informed the development of the draft Economic Development Framework , draft Infrastructure Strategy and the draft 10 Year Infrastructure Plan."

The three draft documents were publicly released last week and were discussed at the Alice Springs and Darwin economic summits, attended by over 400 people.

Feedback and input from both Darwin and Alice Springs sessions will then be combined with feedback received via email, written submissions and other mechanisms.

The updated draft Economic Development Framework will then be provided to the External Reference Group and also to the Northern Territory Government.

It will also be a process to gain endorsement from industry groups where the draft Economic Development Framework has assigned a lead role for industry.

The final version of the Territory’s Economic Development Framework will be published in May 2017.

A comprehensive implementation plan and reporting framework will be developed which will have verifiable performance measures and an annual reporting mechanism.

For further information and a summary of feedback received during the Darwin and Alice Springs summits go to the Economic Summits website.

Buildings at the Darwin Corporate Park

The Darwin Territory Business Centre (TBC) will relocate from its current location in the CBD to Darwin Corporate Park in Berrimah at the end of April.

Executive Director for Business and Innovation, Craig O’Halloran said "The new offices are centrally located and closer to where the majority of clients live and work."

"With approximately 80% of Darwin TBC customers being located in the greater Darwin area outside the CBD, the relocation to Darwin Corporate Park will provide greater convenience and access, particularly to small businesses and tradespeople who frequent the TBC for occupational licenses."

The new location is centrally located between the Darwin CBD, Darwin Northern Suburbs, Palmerston and East Arm.

The new offices will also be home to the Small Business Champions team and NT WorkSafe and will include purpose built facilities providing privacy for workers lodging complaints and during mediation meetings for worker compensation cases.

Further convenience will be provided with almost 200 ground level car parks and over 500 secure basement car parks. The new location is also accessible by public transport.

"Territory Business Centres are our 'one stop shop' for business, industry and workers," Mr O’Halloran said.

"The Department of Trade, Business and Innovation will continue to make services at the TBC as simple and easy as possible."

The new Territory Business Centre at Darwin Corporate Park will open Monday 24 April 2017.

In the meantime, you can still visit the TBC in Darwin City or contact us on 1800 193 111 or via email

thinklab business card

In the heart of Darwin’s northern suburbs lies a small community of entrepreneurs and independent businesses working together to grow their business.

ThinkLab is Darwin’s first co-working community, where small businesses can set up meeting with their clients and conduct their business without having to lease or own an office space.

Located in Rapid Creek, ThinkLab has been up and running for nearly 12 months and the team says its success can be attributed to its community minded approach to working in an office.

Co-founder of ThinkLab, Al Thompson said "It’s more than just a place to work we are building a community for people who want to be work, interact and grow this space."

"We all understand the challenges of small business, be it cash flow, managing your time better, book keeping and staying abreast of technology; by bringing our experiences to the table we can collaborate together on projects, share knowledge and help each other’s business grow."

There is a broad mix of professional who currently use the space ranging from a clinical psychologist, to an architect, to an IT consultant and a marketing specialist.

"ThinkLab is the perfect place for people who do not like the isolation of working at home and like being part of a community," he said

"It is also perfect for people who work from home or starting up a new business and need somewhere away from the kids, house work and distractions at home."

ThinkLab offers flexible and affordable options for people who occasionally need the space to those who work out of the office 24/7.

"People can rent a co-working desk for a day with no additional commitment, to rent an office or the boardroom for a half or full day," he said.

"The space has been used by different organisations in the past for interviews, when someone needs a day away from the office to get progress on a project and also for offsite meetings."

Casual visits start at $40 a day or $160 week. There are also part time and full time options available for those who need the space more regularly, prices range from $400 to $660 a month.

Workmen working on a navy ship

Over 200 Territory businesses have had their say about what the Northern Territory has to offer Defence and its prime contractors.

The Department of Defence and the Centre for Defence Industry Capability conducted an Australian wide survey to assess defence industrial capabilities as part of an initiative to produce the Defence Industry Capability Plan.

Executive Director of the Northern Australia Development Office and Defence NT Jason Schoolmeester said "Their plan will guide Defence investment over the next ten years; therefore it is important the Territory’s capability and capacity to play in that space is accurately captured."

"The information collected from Territory businesses will be a huge help to the people putting together these future infrastructure plans."

Territory construction company, Norbuilt participated in the survey and had their say about the Indigenous component in tendering for work and the amount of local investment.

Norbuilt Compliance Manager, Rebecca Karslake said "We try to provide as much feedback to industry and government. It is important that they have up to date information about the industry so they can better understand our current situation and concerns."

"Providing feedback from local businesses is the only way a true picture can be obtained about the industry, the difficulties we are facing and where our strengths and weaknesses lie."

Businesses that completed the survey were automatically entered into a draw to win a $2,000 prize, supplied by KPMG.

Norbuilt were named the winning business and were presented a new iPad for staff working out of the office and for project management of their projects.

"We will use this iPad on our job site so employees can access our safety management system and our internal work programs," Ms Karslake said.

Data collected from the industry survey will be reviewed and collated. The Defence Industry Capabilities Plan is expected to be released by the end of 2017.

Land based drilling site

More than 600 jobs could be created following the awarding of Major Project Status to KGL $190 million mining project in Central Australia.

The Northern Territory Government has signed a Project Facilitation Agreement (PFA) with KGL, who will run the Jervois Copper-Silver-Gold Project 270km north-east of Alice Springs.

The PFA requires the NT Government and KGL to work together to progress the project through the required approvals processes.

Major projects create employment opportunities for Territorians and develop new business opportunities within the Territory.

This project has the potential to create 360 jobs during construction, over an 18 month period, and 300 on going jobs once operational, over a 12-year plus period.

Annual contained metal production is expected to be increased considerably from the estimated 21,000 tonnes of copper and one million ounces of silver, plus lead, zinc and gold, as a result of the higher grades in recent discoveries at Jervois.

Chairman of KGL, Dennis Wood welcomed the NT Government’s decision. "The confidence that the Northern Territory Government has shown in KGL and the Jervois Project and the cooperation extended to the Company in moving towards development at Jervois are greatly appreciated."

Construction could begin as early as late 2018, with an environmental impact statement scheduled to be submitted next year.

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Last updated: 07 July 2020

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