Business bulletin - 21 September 2017


Artist impression of Shift Lift Facility

A Project Development Agreement has been signed between the Northern Territory (NT) Government and the Paspaley Group to deliver the Ship Lift and Marine Industries Project.

The project will drive local industry, create local jobs and help to consolidate Darwin’s position as a hub for marine maintenance and servicing.

The Ship Lift Facility will enable the maintenance and servicing of Defence and Australian Border Force vessels, along with commercial and private vessels, including from the oil, gas and marine industries.

It is estimated around 100 workers will be employed throughout the facility’s construction phase, and once operational the facility will be a catalyst for the development of a marine maintenance and servicing industry, and the creation of many new jobs.

The NT Government provided $10 million from Budget 2017 to service land adjacent to the Ship Lift and for the due diligence on the project. This comes from $100 million committed over the next four years towards building the Ship Lift.

The proposed Ship Lift will include:

  • a ship lift, capable of lifting vessels out of the water for dry docking and maintenance works, and
  • a common user area, being a hardstand area available and ship repair and maintenance works.

The Ship Lift will have the capacity to lift vessels more than 90 metres in length, including the new fleet of offshore patrol vessels being procured by the Australian Defence Force.

The next phase of the project will involve a nine month program of detailed technical site specific works.

Buy Local, Territory businesses support Territorians

Denys Stedman has been appointed the Northern Territory’s first ever Buy Local Industry Advocate.

The Northern Territory (NT) Government have appointed Mr Stedman to provide an independent advocacy function to government on behalf of local industry.

He will be charged with ensuring Territory businesses are provided full, fair and reasonable opportunities to compete for government contracts.

“As a long term Territorian resident, I am very passionate about the opportunities in the NT and its potential for significant economic growth,” Mr Stedman said.

“Economic development is built on the success of businesses who are supported by effective government policy and action.

“This new role is a great step by the NT Government towards providing that support for local business to maximise future opportunities.”

The Buy Local Plan seeks to ensure that the largest possible proportion of every dollar spent by the NT Government is retained within and delivers benefits for the NT economy and community.

The Buy Local Advocate will be a member of a reformed Procurement Review Board and will head up a subcommittee of that board to focus on Buy Local policies.

The advocate will also be able to investigate complaints directly from industry and be able to act on their own initiative to randomly audit the awarding of contracts and the implementation of them.

If the advocate finds breaches of the Buy Local policies the responsible agency will be required to fix those within the contract. The contractor involved will have the breach recorded. This record will be assessed when they apply for future tenders.

Additional NT Government reforms will reduce the number of procurement boards and panels from three to one with a balance of government and industry representation.

Due to the commencement date of Mr Stedman, January 2018, Mr Doug Phillips has been appointed as an interim Buy Local Industry Advocate.

Anyone wishing to contact the Buy Local Advocate, can call 08 8999 7799 or email

Workman in front of pad foot roller

Grants are now available to support remote communities develop business ideas, create employment opportunities and drive economic development in their region.

The Remote Aboriginal Development Fund will be available via two programs totalling $1 million each.

The programs are the:

  • Remote Aboriginal Economic Development grants program, and
  • Remote Aboriginal Development Fund; Governance and Capacity building grants program.

This funding forms part of the Northern Territory Government’s Local Decision Making policy which will enhance community input into decision making related to service delivery.

The new programs will provide remote communities assistance to improve structures and skills of boards; operational-focused training such as project management; HR and procurement assistance and capacity building, including civic and cultural pride.

Activities submitted for these grants programs must demonstrate clear outcomes and ongoing benefits for remote Aboriginal Territorians.

The funds will be available to regional and remote organisations outside the greater Darwin, Nhulunbuy, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs areas, and will open twice a year.

The first round is now open and will be available until the end of October

Alice Beilby

Alice Beilby knows what it takes to be a business owner.

She often works gruellingly long hours - up to 18 hours a day at times - and has all the usual stresses of running a company; winning contracts, balancing the books, recruiting staff.

Alice, who is of Gungarri and Kamilaroi descent, is the Managing Director of Savanna Solutions, a Katherine-based consultancy and contracting company founded in 2007.

She would like to see more Indigenous Territorians go into business.

“I know that it is a big decision to start your business and give up the security of a regular wage.”

Alice also manages a charity called Savanna Alliance, which was set up in 2012 and whose members are Aboriginal-certified businesses and partners committed to Indigenous employment.

The alliance works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who need support to start their own business.

It is competing for large-scale contracts, including housing repair and maintenance, civil works, construction, renewable energy and carbon farming.

“Our aim is to address social issues by providing employment and economic development projects for regional communities and homelands.”

Alice has been named as a forum champion for the 8th Indigenous Economic Development Forum, a premier event staged by the Northern Territory Government during October Business Month.

The forum will be held at the Darwin Convention Centre from 23 to 24 October.

Alice said it would be a great opportunity for Indigenous business people to network, pick up ideas and publicise their own companies.

The Indigenous Economic Development Forum provides a platform to enhance discussions held between Indigenous businesses and other stakeholders during the recent Economic Summit series and Economic Development Framework.

It will focus on building on Indigenous involvement with the developing Northern Australia agenda and providing opportunities for Indigenous companies to establish connections with other businesses.

The forum will include an Indigenous Business Trade Fair, giving Indigenous business owners the opportunity to showcase their products and capabilities.

The theme of this year’s forum is ‘The North is our Economic Story’.

For more details go to

NT Beverages Export Manager, Peter Siebrecht with Jace Company CEO, Mr Kim Goan Tae

The Northern Territory’s only bottled water company is looking to expand throughout South-East Asia and China after signing a 10-year contract with one of South Korea’s largest consumer goods distribution companies.

Darwin-based NT Beverages has signed up with Jace as the exclusive distributor of Akuna Springs and Akuna Blue.

Chief Executive Hugh Jones said the contract would strengthen business ties between Korea and the Territory.

NT Beverages wants to make Akuna Springs and Akuna Blue available throughout Australia and is working towards breaking into China, Japan, Singapore and the Gulf countries.

Mr Jones said the Asia Pacific region had an emerging middle class more likely to buy luxury products such as the Territory-produced bottled water.

He said there was great potential particularly for Akuna Blue Sparkling in the Asia Pacific, which accounts for 15.25% of the global sparkling water market and where demand is expected faster than anywhere in the world.

The bottled water industry in Asia is largely driven by health concerns with drinking water, changing lifestyles, increasing disposable income, and ease of handling and portability.

The Korea deal followed introductions at the recent Korea-Northern Territory Business Roundtable organised by the Northern Territory Government’s Office of Asian Engagement Trade and Investment, which is a division of the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation.

The department’s Trade Support Scheme also partly funded NT Beverages to go to Korea and then also helped them pay for Jace executives to come to Darwin for further talks.

Mr Jones said government backing was “significant in our success with South Korea”.

“The financial support offered to us has also been of huge advantage and assistance to NT Beverages throughout the negotiations to bring this contract and export opportunity into fruition.”

Mr Jones said the Korea deal would create more jobs.

“NT Beverages has 98% of our staff employed locally. We have always prioritised working with local suppliers as much as possible.

“More business means more production, which in turn means more work, not only for our internal staff members, but also in increase in the use of local infrastructure, transport companies, rail, port and other local service providers.

“NT Beverages strongly believes in investing into the Territory and supporting Territory businesses.”

The company draws its water from an aquifer at Acacia Springs, 50kms south of Darwin.

It produces 96,000 litres a day at a pumping and processing plant at East Arm.

8th IEDF, 23-24 October 2017, Darwin Convention Centre, register now at

Last updated: 07 July 2020

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