Building a more diversified economy is critical to unlock the north’s full potential.
The government is creating an environment in the north where business, entrepreneurs and industries such as agriculture, tourism and resources thrive.
To support business growth, the north needs investment in critical infrastructure. The government has supported four Developing Northern Australia conferences to promote growth and investment:
- Townsville in 2015
- Darwin in 2016
- Cairns in 2017
- Alice Springs in 2018
Small and medium businesses
The Northern Australia Tourism Initiative is extending the Entrepreneurs’ Programme funding by $13.6 million to support northern tourism businesses. It will provide additional business advice and grants to support small and medium businesses in the north.
The program is, for example, funding Darwin’s first innovation hub to assist Northern Territory startups succeed in international markets, particularly in the Asia-Pacific and China.
The Australian Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia is examining the tourism potential of the north.
Australia’s defence industry already contributes almost 7 per cent of economic growth in the north and will continue to fuel regional growth.
The Australian Defence Force is investing:
- $20 billion over 20 years to upgrade defence facilities in the Northern Territory
- $930 million to upgrade facilities and infrastructure in Western Australia
- $8 billion over ten years to build and strengthen infrastructure, and introduce a fleet of lightly armed boats in Queensland
A stronger workforce
Northern Australia businesses require an adaptable and mobile workforce with a range of skills.
The Our North Our Future White Paper supports initiatives to help northern businesses grow by encouraging more Australians to work in the north.
The Skilling Australians Fund is also helping to build a stronger workforce for the north.