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July Conference to examine Darwin's economic future

In a recent Business Review article the Urban Development Institute of Australia (NT) argued that the “economic cliff” our local economy is said to face when the Ichthys project construction phase ends, is significantly overstated.


To explore this subject in more detail, using the minds of some of Australia’s and the Northern Territory’s top specialists in their respective fields, UDIA (NT) has organised a Conference to be held from July 15 to 17 at the Darwin Convention Centre.


On the day prior to the Conference our program includes a land and sea tour which will incorporate the Darwin Airport, Berrimah Business Park, and greenfield developments at Breezes Muirhead, the Heights Durack, Johnston, Zuccoli and Mitchell Creek Green.  Our sea tour on the “Spirit of Darwin” will include lunch, spectacular views of the Darwin CBD, East Arm Port, the Marine Supply Base and the Ichthys project at Blaydin Point.

The first day of the Conference will focus on opportunities within the Northern Territory and incorporates presentations on overseas education, tourism, oil and gas, mining, agribusiness and defence.  Our Keynote Speaker is Dr Ric Simes, Partner Deloitte Access Economics.  There will also be presentations on attracting overseas workers and investments to the NT, air services to Asia and investments into the NT from an Asian perspective.

The second day of the Conference will focus on how to turn opportunities into realities. Presentations will cover topics such as lessons from oil and gas expansion overseas; big picture infrastructure issues for the NT; projects and planning by the NT Government; the Darwin and Palmerston CBD Masterplans; funding projects through public-private partnerships; a session which has been organised in conjunction with Engineers Australia to address the achievement of sustainable development in the tropics; housing and employment issues; and a panel of respected Northern Territory developers addressing opportunities and issues for our industry.

The critically important session on achieving sustainable development for Darwin includes presentations from renowned international / national experts:


  • Paul Reiter, President ReiterIWS Limited (Singapore) and Visiting Professor, Xian University of Technology & Architecture, China.  Paul is a leading figure in international and regional sustainability issues and speaks around the world on sustainability challenges and innovative solutions to meet those challenges.


  • Professor Rob Skinner, Chief Executive Officer Monash Water for Liveability.  Rob is a Fellow of the International Water Association and a leading figure in the Associations’ Cities of the Future Program. He has previously initiated a number of collaborative relationships between Melbourne Water and agencies in Singapore, UK and Timor Leste, and has also been a member of the Board of NT Power & Water.


The sustainability segment will also feature Territory-based people with specialised knowledge, including Louise McCormick, Executive Director, Transport Infrastructure Planning Division, NT Department of Transport; Trevor Horman, Manager Sustainable Energy, NT Power&Water Corporation and local Charles Darwin University PhD student Shokhida Safarova, who will speak about her research project investigating environmental outcomes resulting from design innovations at the Breezes Muirhead subdivision.


In preparing the Conference program UDIA (NT) has already met with presenters to identify the key economic drivers in each field and the projects which are expected to commence during the next 3 to 5 years.  The meetings have given us a high level of confidence about Darwin’s economic future.  When combined with prevailing low interest rates, Federal and Northern Territory budgets which recognise the importance of investment in key infrastructure and the recent release of the White Paper on developing the north, we believe this is an exciting time to be in the Territory.


Our “Prosperity Points North” Conference is an event you will not want to miss if you are in business in the NT or are thinking about establishing or expanding your business here or would like to know more about the investment climate here over the coming five to ten years.


If you would like to learn more about any aspect of our July Conference, please visit to obtain further information.  Registrations can be processed by visiting or by clicking on the Booking Form link on our UDIA (NT) web site