The Northern Territory 2023-24 Budget was handed down on 9 May 2023. Below are the budget highlights:
Prioritising sustainable development
The Territory Government continues to implement measures to maximise economic opportunities for Territorians while protecting and promoting sustainable use of the Territory’s natural assets. Budget 2023 invests:
- $2.5 million over two years to encourage businesses to participate in the circular economy, through two grant programs:
- The Territory Recycling Grant, providing grants up to $20,000 towards the purchase of small-scale recycling equipment.
- The Transformational Circular Economy Infrastructure Grant, providing grants of up to $500,000 for infrastructure projects with a focus on repurposing construction, demolition, food, garden and organic waste.
Attracting and assisting investment
The Territory Government continues to ensure investment conditions in the Territory are attractive. Budget 2023 is facilitating future economic growth by providing:
- $24.1 million to support Investment Territory to facilitate major projects and private sector investment.
- $13 million over four years for land acquisition to enable strategic infrastructure for major projects.
- $4.6 million over three years to invest in accelerated development of the hydrogen industry.
- $1.8 million to drive the development and implementation of the Northern Australia agenda, promote and secure international trade opportunities, and facilitate economic opportunities across key industry sectors. This includes development of business cases and feasibility studies to progress existing projects and identify new commercial investment opportunities to attract private sector investment.
- $1 million over two years to investigate agribusiness and manufacturing opportunities for the Territory.
In addition, the Local Jobs Fund continues to provide Territory business with access to capital to help them expand and create opportunities for local job creation and the Territory Government continues to work with the Commonwealth to secure funding for economic enabling infrastructure.
Regional and remote development
Budget 2023 invests in priority initiatives to support Aboriginal people across the Territory to improve liveability and have their voices heard, including:
- $9 million over three years for the Community Places for People grant program for regional and shire councils.
- $3 million over three years to support implementation of the Burial and Cremation Act 2022, including a Regional and Remote Burial Areas grant program.
Investing in renewable energy and responding to climate change
The Territory Government continues to prioritise clean energy, with Budget 2023 providing:
- $7.3 million over two years from 2022-23 for the Renewable Remote Power Program (including renewable hydrogen trials) to continue to advance the delivery of clean and reliable electricity to remote communities across the Territory.
Managing bushfires and protecting wildlife
The Territory Government continues to invest in wildlife protection and bushfire resilience. Budget 2023 provides:
- $9 million over three years from 2022-23 to continue the Aboriginal Ranger Grants program, supporting Aboriginal ranger groups to undertake conservation and land and sea management on country, including fire, weed and feral animal management activities.
- $7.1 million in external partnership funding for grants under the Ichthys Project Voluntary Offsets Agreement, supporting the conservation of dugongs, cetaceans and threatened marine species in Top End waters.
- $3.1 million over four years from 2022-23 and $0.6 million ongoing for additional support for wildfire suppression, installation of an updated digital radio console and gamba grass mitigation.
- $2.5 million ongoing to fund aerial support services through the National Aerial Firefighting Centre Agreement, securing four fixed wing and two rotary wing aircraft to assist in bushfire mitigation and management.
Reducing the cost of utilities
The Territory Government continues to provide substantial cost of living relief to households and small businesses by subsidising the cost of electricity, water and sewerage services for households and small businesses across the Territory.
Budget 2023 provides an additional $71.7 million in community service obligation funding to Power and Water Corporation and electricity retailers to subsidise utility costs. In 2023-24, a total of $161.3 million in community service obligation payments is allocated to Power and Water Corporation and electricity retailers to subsidise utility costs, including:
- $138.5 million to maintain electricity supply to households and small business customers at uniform prices across the Territory below cost of supply.
- $7.6 million to subsidise water and sewerage services to customers at uniform tariffs.
Budget 2023 also provides $3.5 million for small businesses and $7.2 million for eligible households to support the National Energy Bill Relief Program, including Commonwealth and Territory funding, to deliver targeted and temporary relief on power bills for eligible households.
The Territory Government continues to provide cost of living support for sustainability initiatives including:
- Up to $1,500 in electric vehicle stamp duty concessions on the registration of new and second‑hand battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. This concession effectively removes stamp duty on purchase costs of up to $50,000. The same vehicles are also exempt from the registration component of Territory vehicle registration fees.
- Continuation of the Home and Business Battery Scheme, allowing homeowners and businesses to save up to $5,000 on the purchase and installation of rooftop solar batteries and inverters to reduce electricity costs.
Budget 2023 supports working women through:
- $5.5 million to subsidise child care operators to reduce the cost of child care for parents, enabling women and carers to get back into the workforce or pursue study.
- $1.5 million for Screen Territory to provide grants to support local screen practitioners, attract productions to the Territory, and provide upskilling opportunities for locals. Grants can be up to $100,000 each.
- $220,000 in 2023-24 to support women in the fields of construction and engineering with funding for:
- Two women to undertake a Certificate IV in Civil Construction Supervision.
- An engineering scholarship, supporting two female students over four years to study a Bachelor of Engineering at Charles Darwin University.
- Sponsoring the National Association of Women in Construction to grow careers in construction.
- $194,000 to the NT Working Women’s Centre to provide free and confidential advice to Territory women on industrial relations and workplace issues.
Promoting tourism in the Territory
Budget 2023 delivers an additional $35.5 million over 2023-24 and 2024-25 to continue to build tourism and promote the Territory as an exciting place to live, work and visit, including:
- $28.6 million for domestic and international tourism marketing, including continuing international marketing by Study NT and NT Business Events, with a focus on converting intent into bookings, and promoting Territory experiences and events. The funding includes a further $3 million boost to international marketing in 2023-24 to maximise opportunities arising from Tourism Australia’s new global campaign to convert intent into bookings, and support airline and trade partners to bring international visitors to the Territory.
- $3.8 million to grow the capability of the Aboriginal tourism sector, including skills development and mentoring and business support.
- $2.1 million to deliver enhanced industry development activities and support business with digital marketing and sales, and continue support for the business events sector through the NT Business Events Support Fund.
- $1 million for regional tourism association grants for visitor services across the Territory.
Tourism business support
Budget 2023 invests in the Territory’s tourism rebound, supports tourism and hospitality businesses, and encourages private investment through targeted investment, including:
- $2.2 million to support NT tourism businesses through a suite of tailored business support programs, including providing event organisers, suppliers and tourism operators access to support programs addressing business survival, revival and growth.
- $2 million for the Business Events Support Fund, to support the Territory business events sector by providing financial assistance to organisers of qualified corporate meetings, conferences, conventions, exhibitions and incentives.
Budget 2023 also continues support for businesses to alleviate workforce shortages in our tourism and hospitality sectors and strengthen the workforce as part of the Territory’s tourism comeback.
Budget papers can be found here.