THE Northern Territory government is developing a Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP) in consultation with industry as a blueprint to drive economic development.

The government said in 2019-20, before the pandemic, $205 billion worth of goods were exported via northern ports.

Darwin is rapidly growing as a centre for marine services and supply, supporting the operations of the Australian Defence Force and allied forces, Australian Border Force, the offshore oil and gas industry, commercial fishing industry, tourism industry and the general maritime industry.

The territory government said the MIDP would provide an industry strategic framework. It is to include the development of the marine industry park, a Darwin ship lift, berths for superyachts, a holistic approach to ports throughout the territory and a comprehensive workforce strategy.

A discussion paper has now been released for public and industry consultation that will focus on the following key aspects of the territory’s maritime industry:

  • service, supply and sustainment capability;
  • maritime industry growth catalysts: marine industry park and Darwin ship lift;
  • port infrastructure and development, including for the cruise ship industry;
  • maritime workforce development – including examining the potential for the establishment of a maritime industry skills academy; and
  • maritime districts within Darwin Harbour – Stokes Hill Wharf, Frances Bay Mooring Basin and the Hudson Creek Industrial Estate.

Territorians, businesses and industry are encouraged to provide their feedback via the NT government website.

Territory minster for defence industries Nicole Manison said the maritime industry delivers direct jobs, opportunities and investment for the territory while improving important services to Territorians and boosting the economy.

“The maritime sector makes an important economic contribution to the territory, across freight, commercial fishing, defence, border protection, cruise ships, charter vessels, and recreational boating and workboats,” she said.

“We know Darwin is strategically significant, being centrally located on the northern Australian coastline and we want industry’s help to identify our future opportunities and strengthen the sector.”