There is a great need for Australia to continue to invest in infrastructure for both job creation and economic growth.
According to the Australian Government, productive and sustainable infrastructure is needed to drive economic growth, increase employment and enhance quality of life.
The 2011 census found that $854 billion was contributed to our economy in 2011 by infrastructure within Australian capital cities, with a probable $1.6 trillion (90% growth) expected in this area by 2031.
Australian cities are crucial economic engines, however increases in population by 2031 will mean continued action is required to accommodate growing congestion.
It is largely important that vibrant regions within Australia maintain growth to ensure continued support for our economy.
Darwin plays a vital role in fulfilling the Government’s vision for Northern Australia, and infrastructure is key to this vision.
Given that the Northern Territory profits from neighbouring Asian economies, and that it is well positioned as a transport and logistics hub for business and tourism, the development of Northern Australia is pivotal to the development of the entire country – opportunities are large.
With infrastructure high on the Northern Territory government’s agenda, a number of infrastructure projects are currently either underway or in the pipelines.
At the top of the Australian Infrastructure Initiatives List for NT, released in February 2016, is the upgrade to Tanami Road, Darwin water supply infrastructure upgrades and provision of enabling services to remote NT Communities (Wadeye, Tiwi Islands and Jabiru).
The Northern Territory has witnessed a rare mega-project over the last two years, which has given a significant push in growth for the Northern Territory’s small economy. This project now staged at the peak of its construction is of course the Northern Territory's $34 billion INPEX gas plant, based in Darwin Harbour.
The project has been described as ‘three mega-projects rolled into one’ and holds some of the largest offshore facilities in the industry, including a advanced onshore processing facility and an 890 km pipeline creating opportunities of a 40 year operational life.
The project is on track to have construction phase wind up at the end of 2016/into early 2017.
Focus has also been put on a number of national parks in the region, due to the parks high visitor numbers - being a key driver of regional tourism.
A $10.43 million project is well underway in the Litchfield National Park, and due to be completed this dry season. The upgrades will be made to the Buley Rockhole, Florence Falls, Tjaynera Falls (Sandy Creek), Tolmer Falls and the Termite Mounds.
Another $700,000 project is also underway at the Watarrka National Park, which will accommodate for better amenities, with works to be completed by mid-July 2016.
These projects are vital to create employment opportunities for local Territorians and support the local workers who contribute to the economy.
The Federal Government’s $5 billion loan program to support infrastructure projects in Northern Australia will see to the continuation and initiation of a number of new projects, including major road upgrades and land development – the Northern Territory has exciting opportunities for economic development going into the future.
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