Supply and service industries

With the proliferation of major oil and gas investments, an increasing investment in defence capabilities and the associated infrastructure and services, there is long term potential for new entrants to invest or expand into the Northern Territory.

Servicing and supporting an expanding export market presents a compelling investment opportunity for global players whose energy supply chain starts in the Northern Territory and ends in their home country or region.

Current activity

Darwin is becoming a significant oil and gas service centre. It is well positioned to service floating LNG facilities proposed in the seas to its north and west, in addition to the two LNG facilities located or being built in Darwin.

The Darwin Marine Supply Base provides oil platform tenders a dedicated facility to load provisions and construction materials. There is substantial capacity for additional services to utilise these facilities.

With the Northern Territory home to approximately 8% of Australia’s permanent defence force personnel and their families, defence is a key contributor to the economy. A number of Australian Defence Force platforms are now permanently based in the Northern Territory (eg 1 Aviation Regiment, the home of the Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters, and 75% of Australia’s Armidale Class Patrol Boats are stationed in Darwin whilst a squadron of FA-18 fighter jets are based at RAAF Base Tindal).

The 2016 Defence White Paper sets out a comprehensive long term plan for Australia’s defence supported by increased investment, including new weapons, platforms, systems, and the enabling equipment, facilities, workforce and technologies. There is significant opportunity for interested investors to establish in the Northern Territory and leverage off significant potential growth.

Advantages that set the Northern Territory apart

  • Established rail, road and port infrastructure in Darwin to support it as a base for supply and service industries.
  • A fully equipped marine supply base well connected to national road, rail and airport networks.
  • An international standard 24 hour airport.
  • Skilled labour and management capabilities in the logistics and supply services fields.
  • World standard emergency and disaster response facilities and capabilities.
  • Fully serviced city infrastructure to support sophisticated business operations.
Army tanks on the wharf

Opportunities for investors

The Northern Territory Government is committed to working with new investors and businesses to capitalise on the growing gas and minerals sector and the development of downstream industries. Examples of established supply and service industries with the capacity for growth include:

Marine Supply Base

The establishment of the new wharf and provisioning facilities in Darwin creates an opportunity for support businesses to operate from Darwin.

Marine Industry Park

This 140+ hectare Marine Industry Park is located approximately 16kms from Darwin’s CBD and includes premium industrial waterfront land in the East Arm Logistics Precinct. The precinct has excellent road, rail and marine transport infrastructure. The precinct includes the East Arm Wharf, Austral-Asia Railway, Marine Supply Base, and a Common User Facility with nine hectares of hardstand area with direct access to a new Multi-user Barge Ramp. The Northern Territory Government is also currently considering investing up to AU$100 million to develop a common multi-user ship lift facility. The Marine Industry Park provides a unique opportunity to capitalise on Darwin’s significantly expanding oil and gas, marine services and defence industries. Nearby, the Darwin Business Park is home to over 100 existing industrial businesses operating in what is considered Darwin’s premiere industrial subdivision, which has room to grow with large size allotments still available for sale and lease.

Oil and gas support functions

By 2018 Darwin will be supporting four LNG trains, with an expected combined annual operational spend of approximately AU$500 million. A full range of service and support services will be required.

Mining and exploration equipment and technical services

Substantial areas of industrial land adjacent to transport infrastructure is available in Darwin to store equipment and coordinate operations across the Northern Territory.

Military support functions

With 5400 military personnel and substantial army, navy and air force machinery, equipment, ships, planes and vehicles, service contractors could establish lucrative long term contracts supporting the Australian defence industry, as well as forces from other countries that regularly participate in various training activities across the Northern Territory.

Heavy engineering and mechanical maintenance

A diversity of heavy industrial activities requires conveniently located maintenance and service facilities.


A full range of food, clothing and equipment suppliers could be based in Darwin to service a diverse customer base.

Emergency and disaster response capabilities

Established emergency capabilities could be further enhanced to consolidate Darwin as a central base for these services within the ASEAN region.

Aviation services

A variety of remote mining, oil, gas and agriculture operations requires a high level of aviation support.