MEDIA RELEASE: Northern Territory Population Series

30 June 2016

DCM Media Release

Boosting population growth is the key focus during a series of regional forums being hosted across the Northern Territory by the Northern Australia Development Office.

Boosting population growth is the key focus during a series of regional forums being hosted across the Northern Territory by the Northern Australia Development Office.

The Northern Territory Population Series, which began in Nhulunbuy last night (29 June 2016) consists of six regional public forums at Katherine, Tennant Creek, Palmerston, Alice Springs and Darwin.

“The Population Series provides Territorians a chance to consider the challenges and opportunities of population growth in their own communities,” said Luke Bowen, General Manager of the Northern Australia Development Office.

The Northern Territory Population Series will bring together Territorians to hear about the latest research on population growth that will include a Deloitte presentation on why people leave the Territory. The series will also provide an open panel session with the opportunity for the public to comment and ask questions.

Mr Bowen said: “Population growth is an important issue for Territorians, it’s been a topic of interest in our previous regional forums and it’s good to see people having their say. Business and Industry groups talk about the importance of population growth to grow the economy, equally people are saying that they are not opposed to growth but don’t wish to lose their lifestyle and Territory values in the process.”

“This is an important conversation for all Territorians and not something that Government alone can achieve. Research tells us that people often come to the Territory for work but it’s the community and social values that keep people here.”

The series concludes with a Northern Territory Summit at the Darwin Convention Centre on 2
August 2016 and commenced last night with the first session in Nhulunbuy.

CEO of Developing East Arnhem Limited, Carley Scott said: “The NADO Regional Population Forum in East Arnhem Land provided an excellent opportunity for the community to discuss population trends, and how these trends play a role in shaping the region's future.”

“Sitting alongside strong Yolngu leaders, the clear message from all in the room was that growth is important for stability, but that this growth must be teamed with appropriate programs to ensure we have strong social, health and education foundations. With these foundations right, population growth can also drive sustainable and positive outcomes across the region; a story that is likely to be common throughout the Territory.”

“The Population discussion was a great conversation starter, and linked well with existing plans shared by groups like DEAL, the Nhulunbuy Corporation, Government, Dhimurru, Gumatj and Rirratjingu, who work together toward a bright future of growth and prosperity for the East Arnhem region.”

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures reveal the Northern Territory population is due to swell to 356,000 by 2040.

ABS figures for the NT population in 2015 were 244,484, up from 176,865 in 1995.

The next sessions will be held in Katherine (7 July), Tennant Creek (11 July) Alice Springs (12 July), Darwin (19 July), Palmerston (25 July).