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Profile of Northern Territory manufacturing sector characteristics

02 May, 2006

The Northern Territory's manufacturing sector is a strong contributor to other Territory industry sectors and to value adding in the economy. It contributes around 3.3% of the Gross State Product (GSP), with a $1.138 billion turnover in 2000-01.

Northern Territory Government

More than half of this is associated with the processing of bauxite to alumina at Gove, by Alcan. Some 3,300 workers are employed in the sector, which supplies around 17% of the estimated total demand for manufactured goods in the Northern Territory of around $2.8 billion per year. The level of profitability is similar to that in other jurisdictions, while the average labour costs are slightly lower than other states and territories.

The manufacturing sector's economic multipliers and linkages with the rest of the Northern Territory economy are significant. For every $1 million increase in the value of the manufacturing sector, another $463, 000 worth of production is generated in the rest of the economy. Similarly, for every 100 new jobs created in the manufacturing sector, another 136 new jobs are created in the rest of the economy. For every $1million of manufacturing turnover, more than $22,000 of tax revenue is generated in the Northern Territory.

An economic description of the Northern Territory's manufacturing industry, The Manufacturing Sector in the Northern Territory, was prepared during the development of this strategy and is available through the department's Internet site http://www.dberd.nt.gov.au" target="_blank">www.dberd.nt.gov.au. Further information on the Northern Territory economy and the manufacturing sector is also available in Northern Territory Economy 2003-04 http://www.nt.gov.au/ntt" target="_blank">www.nt.gov.au/ntt

Current Issues for Territory Manufacturing Enterprises

In order to better understand the Northern Territory manufacturing sector enterprises and their strategic issues, a survey was conducted in partnership with the Manufacturers Council in late 2002 during the development of Making it in the Territory. The separately published Report on the 2002 Survey of Northern Territory Manufacturing Enterprises noted that:

- the top priority issues for businesses were customer relations, insurance costs, freight costs, supplier relationships and production costs.

- the key external factors for businesses were the Territory economic and business climate, local market size, market access, federal taxation and access to government contracts, with respondents also indicating that these issues are likely to remain important over the next five years.

- larger enterprises placed more importance on staff costs, environmental compliance, business systems management, industrial relations, availability of a skilled workforce and occupational health and safety.

- small businesses placed greater emphasis on supplier relationships, and mid-sized businesses emphasised customer relationships.

More details are available on: http://www.dberd.nt.gov.au" target="_blank">www.dberd.nt.gov.au

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