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Economy

NT driving growth in new 21st century economy

“The emergence of Northern Australia will drive growth, create new jobs and new opportunities for Australia in this new 21st century,” Chief Minister, Paul Henderson told attendees at a CEDA event in Darwin.

"The emergence of Northern Australia will drive growth, create new jobs and new opportunities for Australia in this new 21st century," Chief Minister, Paul Henderson told attendees at a CEDA event in Darwin.

He acknowledged the importance of Australia's expanding economy and the need to capture opportunities for investment with Asia as we move into the 'Asian Century'.

Mr Henderson also outlined a number of energy opportunities in Northern Australia.

"The majority of resources, energy and infrastructure construction projects slated for the Northern Territory (NT) between 2011-16 are LNG-related," he said.

"These projects are worth over $200 billion and will employ around 70,000 workers."

He said the $34 billion Ichthys Gas Project is the second-biggest investment in a single project in Australia's history, and will be the catalyst for further investment in the NT in the years ahead.

There is also great opportunity for onshore gas, he said, as the NT now has 89 per cent of land and nearshore area granted, or under application, for petroleum exploration.

Mr Henderson highlighted, although uranium is a contentious issue, the Ranger mine is Australia's largest uranium mine and operation will continue to, and beyond 2021.

"Its remaining reserves and resources, if processed into yellowcake, would contain energy equivalent to over 300 years of LNG production from Darwin LNG," he said.

In regard to renewable energy, Mr Henderson said renewables are a small but growing part of the NT's energy mix.

"The Territory has an abundant solar radiation resource for photovoltaic and solar thermal power generation... and the costs are coming down," he said.

Investing in the future is a top priority, "we've invested $6 billion into infrastructure that will attract new and sustainable investment," he said.

Mr Henderson said the Territory Government was making good progress creating a skilled and flexible workforce.

Charles Darwin University has also assisted by putting in place a range of training and upskilling initiatives to help grow the supply and service sector, he said.

"Everything our Government does is about preparing for the future and creating cities and towns that can provide a growing population with the housing and services it needs," he said.

"In this Century of the North there is no better place to invest and do business."

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