Between 2005 and 2013 Australia went through the biggest resources investment boom in its history with over $423 billion of investment into the Australian resources sector (including minerals and petroleum projects). However, less than 4 per cent of this capital expenditure was directed into the Northern Territory and no new major mining operations were started in this period.
The NT holds some of the richest mineral deposits in the world. However, the relatively small share of mining investment coming to the NT suggests the competitiveness of the mining investment in the NT needs urgent attention. One key reason is NT’s uncompetitive royalty regime.
The guiding objective of the NT revenue review should be to increase the Territory’s growth through a more competitive tax system. The Government needs to focus on improving the attractiveness of mining investment to better capitalise on the natural advantages of the NT, while overcoming the natural disadvantages of remoteness and a small population.