Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Industry Embraces Plan for NT Ship Lift

Support for the Territory Labor Government’s Ship Lift is gaining momentum with the Australian Industry Defence Network NT (AIDN-NT) backing the project.

AIDN-NT has thrown industry support behind last week’s announcement that the Territory Government will build Northern Australia’s largest Ship Lift. The project will create 100 jobs during construction, 400 ongoing jobs and inject $260m into the economy every year.

The not-for-profit organisation believes the Ship Lift will transform the local maritime services industry, opening up economic opportunities and creating jobs.

AIDN-NT is the premier representative body for small to medium enterprises working in the Defence industry in the Northern Territory. The organisation offers a range of services, training and support aimed at enhancing the ability of business to win Defence work and succeed in the industry.

The nation needs a Ship Lift in Northern Australia to repair and sustain large vessels including Naval vessels.

The current commercial Ship Lift facilities in Darwin are aging and small, and the ship lift at the Coonawarra Naval Base is due to be decommissioned by 2024.

A new Ship Lift fits into the AIDN-NT’s strategic approach to strengthen the industry with the recent establishment of a Maritime Maintenance Service Support Alliance. The Alliance is designed to position the local industry as a collective that can service larger national and international opportunities. Similarly, the Alliance will connect businesses with local suppliers who are accredited, bid savvy and export ready

The Territory Government has committed $100m for the $400m project at East Arm. Additional funding is being sought through the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).

NAIF Chair Khory McCormick last week confirmed the due diligence process to consider a loan for the project is well underway. A decision is expected by the end of the year.

Quotes from the NT Chief Minister, Michael Gunner:

“We will build a new Ship Lift in Darwin.

“This will mean more permanent jobs and bring a significant economic injection into the Northern Territory.

“We know constructing a Ship Lift is the right thing to do for the Territory. The backing of industry heavy weights like the Australian Industry Defence Network NT, confirms that.”

Quotes from AIDN-NT CEO, Kerryn Smith:

“AIDN-NT is optimistic about the future of the NT Defence Industry.  We are pleased to be able to support the NT Government and its plans to build a Ship Lift, and do believe that this is critical if the NT wants to secure its place as a strategic location that provides the necessary support to key allies within global Military and Commercial markets. 

“We are the essential steppingstone for strategic business to and from the North and South”.

“The NT prides itself on being collaborative, flexible and agile.  We have a resilient and capable local industry base that can scale up at short notice. 

“Building a Ship Lift will attract significant future investment into our region. We are central to Northern Australia and this initiative will cement our role as a key player in supporting key Maritime activities into the future.  Now is the time to rally and ensure that we make this everything it could be”. 

Media contact: Cameron Angus 0404 021 192.