Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Former Labor Chief Minister backs TIO sale

Chief Minister Adam Giles has tabled a recent report co-authored by former Labor Chief Minister Paul Henderson backing the sale of TIO and privatisation of the Port.

“At the end of last year, the Economic Development Advisory Panel made 37 recommendations to Government about future directions for the economy and actions we could take to promote further growth,” Chief Minister Adam Giles said.

This panel is made up of Doug McTaggart, Ian Smith and former Labor Chief Minister Paul Henderson.

“Key among the former Chief Minister’s recommendations is the sale of TIO and privatisation of the Darwin Port Corporation,” Mr Giles said.

“Paul Henderson’s report notes the extensive risk that the insurer presents to Government with ‘around $700 million dollars in government exposure.’

“The report says ‘the Government should act immediately to establish a process for privatising TIO, both to release capital but also to remove significant risk from the Territory’s balance sheet’.

"On the subject of the Port, the panel warns that ‘East Arm Wharf requires significant new capital over time for investment to increase capacity’ which ‘will add to the Northern Territory debt burden.’

“Again, Paul Henderson and his colleagues recommend that government ‘should act immediately to establish a process for privatising the Darwin Port Corporation to release capital to fund future port capacity expansion.’

“No final decisions have been made about either leasing of the Port or the sale of TIO, but the clear opinion of these experts, including the former Labor Chief Minister, is that we should proceed with the sale of TIO and private investment at the Port.

“The Opposition Leader has been running around saying the sky is going to fall in if TIO gets sold.

“Well I’ve got some advice for her - go and speak to your old boss Paul Henderson and educate yourself about the current risks and opportunities for taxpayers in relation to TIO.”

The Government has launched a new website for Territorians to have their say about infrastructure projects that could be funded through any future sale or lease of public assets.

“What we really need are ideas from the public about what projects Territorians would like us to pursue as a priority if we do go down this path,” Mr Giles said.

To get more information or submit an idea visit

The full Economic Development report is attached below.

Media Contact: Danielle Parry 0413 081 801

Recommendations Economic Development Strategy.pdf