The journey

The Economic Development Framework was developed through an Economic Summits process in partnership with Deloitte and involving the private and not-for-profit sectors, land councils and Aboriginal representative groups, unions and the community. The summits discussed the most important directions and actions we need to do to accelerate the Territory’s economic development right now.

Between October 2016 and March 2017, about 240 organisations and 1,590 people engaged in the consultation process. There were a wide range of ideas discussed and offered. Many formed the basis of this Economic Development Framework. More specific and individual ideas will inform future strategies, plans and policies, capturing action at an industry, regional and community level.

Our consultations told us that these are the critical themes to accelerate economic development:

Improved coordination and collaboration

All industries, regions and communities identified that improving coordination and communication will lead to better outcomes. Working together, we develop a shared vision, prioritise and plan, and carry out the actions that will make the biggest difference for our regions, communities and the Territory overall.

Better planning

Businesses need certainty to invest and create jobs. Plans that are jointly developed and committed to by government, industry and communities help provide this certainty.

Effective regulation

Effective regulation strikes a balance between protecting the community interest and providing businesses with the freedom to innovate and grow. This includes being aware of regulation that has the potential to limit competition within markets, delay the adoption of disruptive technologies, or hinder innovative ways of doing business.

Enabling investment

Wise public sector investment that facilitates and catalyses private sector investment will significantly accelerate economic growth. To achieve the greatest and most sustainable economic benefit, government has to strategically assess where it invests across competing demands.


Business needs a Territory workforce with the skills to do the jobs of today and ready to do the jobs of tomorrow. We need to develop the capacity of our entire workforce, in particular supporting more Aboriginal Territorians to participate and succeed.


Innovation drives productivity and makes Territory businesses more competitive, profitable and sustainable. To capture the benefits of innovation, our economy needs a culture of innovation within all sectors including business, services, government, education, not-for-profits and the general community.

The Economic Development Framework will inform the Northern Territory’s long-term decision making and will deliver policy and regulatory certainty for investors.

The partners to this framework, industry, other representative groups, and government, will provide regular updates on progress, including a publicly released progress report.

Last updated: 25 Jul 2018