Port of Darwin achieved a new record for live cattle exports for the financial year of 2014/15, moving more cattle than any other port in the world.
With 613,473 head of cattle exported in 2014/15, Port of Darwin recorded a 51 per cent increase on the previous year’s record of 406,055.
The growth of the live export industry in the NT is set to play a huge role in the region’s development.
Welcoming the news, Chief Minister Adam Giles pointed out the need for more investment in infrastructure so that the Northern Territory can develop its full potential.
“The Northern Territory has been unwavering in calling for sensible and long term development. It’s good for Northern Australia and it’s good for the entire nation – both now and into the future,” Mr Giles said.
“With the recent release of the Federal Government’s White Paper, the focus is now well and truly on Northern Australia and the Northern Territory is front and centre. We are determined to keep the momentum going to unlock the Territory’s full potential and create more jobs and opportunities for Territorians.”
Mr Giles also pointed out that live export trade is worth around $230 million annually to the Territory’s economy, stating that Asian demand for Australian beef can only increase.
“The Territory Government is determined to ensure we continue to grow our exports and that’s why we’re exploring opportunities for increased private investment in the Port of Darwin through a long term lease,” Mr Giles said.
“Finding the right private sector partner to operate and grow our port is critical for Northern Australia’s development, and to ensure we create new business and new jobs in the Territory.”
Mr Giles met with Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss in Darwin where they discussed the opportunities that could flow from the Federal Government’s White Paper on Developing Northern Australia.
The Commonwealth has committed to a $600 million roads package with the Tanami Road, Arnhem Highway and the Outback Way identified as priority roads.
“Similarly, the $100 million commitment to improve northern cattle supply chains through the Northern Australia Beef Roads Fund is a welcome first start towards ensuring the Territory cattle industry has secure access to markets all year round,” Mr Giles said.
Further, the Commonwealth said it will create an office of Northern Australia to implement the White Paper, and Mr Giles is pushing for it to be located in Darwin, which he said is the ideal location, both geographically and economically.
“The Federal Government has committed to shifting the Office of Northern Australia to the north and I believe Darwin would be the ideal home both geographically and economically,” he said.
“We will take every opportunity we can to push the Northern Territory’s case and ensure policy makers in Canberra understand the need to make a long term commitment to grow the north.”