Population Summit

05 August 2016

Population Series

The Northern Territory Population Summit was delivered in response to public feedback the Northern Australia Development Office (NADO) received throughout earlier public engagement forums on population growth.

The Summit concluded the six part Population Series, which travelled to communities including Nhulunbuy, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine and Palmerston.

Territorians clearly wanted to talk about population growth and what it meant for their particular regions.  The Australian Governments ‘Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia’ as well as Infrastructure Australia’s Australian Infrastructure Plan both shone a light on the importance of population growth to the development of Australia’s north.

Keynote Speaker at the Summit was futurist and social researcher Mark McCrindle, who gave an overview of the NT’s migration, technology advancement and what this will mean for the NT moving forward.

General Manager of the NADO Luke Bowen said “Over 100 Territorians attended the Summit, where they discussed the challenges and opportunities of population growth in their own communities and the Territory as a whole.”  

“The presentation was interactive and gave the audience the opportunity to participate by voting on different themes.

The Northern Territory Population Summit was delivered in response to public feedback the Northern Australia Development Office (NADO) received throughout earlier public engagement forums on population growth.  

“46% of the audience said they see the Territory taking advantage of our close proximity to Asia over the next 5 years, with a focus on trade; 39% of the audience said international investment will be key to the future growth of the Territory economy.”

Mr Bowen said it is imperative Territorians are included in the discussion around population growth.

“NADO will now develop a Population Series summary paper and will go back to the regions to release its findings, but we acknowledge there is a lot more work to be done” Mr Bowen said.

“There is a sound socioeconomic imperative for growth; we need it to thrive, to develop services and community amenities. A healthy population growth rate will minimise the volatility in the NT’s population growth. Volatility is not good for business.

“Population growth can adversely affect how much funding we get from the Australian Government; for example our slow growth rate is expected to result in the Territory receiving around $750 million less from the Commonwealth than was estimated in the previous budget.”

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. Of concern is the current slow growth rate of 0.3%, one of Australia’s lowest.

Summary of the Population Summit series PDF (104.1 KB).

Media Contact: Luke Bowen 0400 252 306.