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Office of Northern Australia

Developing northern Australia

Northern Australia is a diverse and vibrant region rich in opportunities to drive growth in jobs and investment for the benefit of all Australians.

A strong and prosperous north is critical to Australia’s economic future.

The Australian Government’s 2015 Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia laid the foundations for economic growth to maximise northern Australia’s potential.

The White Paper sets out the long-term policy vision for northern Australia’s sustainable economic development. The White Paper provides the framework for our plan to build a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia.

Northern Australia is defined as all of the Northern Territory and those parts of Queensland and Western Australia north of the Tropic of Capricorn.

Realising the vision of a stronger north requires a long-term commitment and united efforts across government, industry and the community.

The Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, the Hon David Littleproud MP, and Special Envoy for Northern Australia, Senator Susan McDonald lead the northern Australia agenda, setting the foundations for investment and sustainable economic growth.

The Office of Northern Australia is actively implementing the Australian Government’s northern agenda, in close collaboration with a diverse range of partners.

  • Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) provides states and territories with financial assistance for northern infrastructure projects.
  • Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) funds industry-led research to develop new technologies, products and services in the north.
  • The Northern Australia Indigenous Reference Group was established in 2017 to provide advice to the Australian and northern jurisdictional governments on Indigenous economic advancement in northern Australia. The group ensures the interests of Indigenous land owners, communities and businesses is represented in the northern Australia agenda. Members have high-level expertise and experience across a range of industries, sectors and regions, rather than specific organisations or communities.

Northern Australia Development Program

The Northern Australia Development Program (NADP) is an exciting new $111.9 million program designed to help grow businesses and industries in northern Australia.

Open to small to medium businesses, including Indigenous businesses, the NADP will fund up to 50 per cent of the total cost of individual projects through two simultaneous grant streams:

  • Stream 1: targeting small to medium businesses with expansion and diversification grants of between $50,000 and $2 million
  • Stream 2: targeting larger businesses with grants between $3 million and $10 million to establish a new industry or significantly grow the value of an existing industry, contributing to transformational change in a region.

The NADP will be supported by a specialised business advisory service to help grow and strengthen successful businesses in a strategic way.

The first round of the NADP will open in early November 2021, with eligibility guidelines released at the end of September 2021. To stay up to date, follow us on social media @northernaust or subscribe to our newsletter here.

White Paper

The Australian Government’s Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia was released in 2015 and sets out the priorities to drive growth in Australia’s north. It’s a 20-year plan for investment and collaborative support to grow the north through:

  • simpler land arrangements to support investment
  • developing the north’s water resources
  • business, trade and investment
  • infrastructure to support growth
  • the northern workforce
  • good governance

Green Paper

The Green Paper on Developing Northern Australia built on the government’s agenda for northern Australia and informed the 2015 Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia. The north is a region that holds many opportunities but faces significant economic, social, geographic and environmental challenges. Unlocking the north’s potential will strengthen the economy and promote jobs growth for Australia.

The paper sought to facilitate feedback on opportunities, risks, challenges and policy options to drive growth in the north.

Progress reports

Statements and agreements

Fact sheet


This detailed, full-colour map of northern Australia has been designed to support development in the north. It also available as a high resolution.

The map shows population centres, topographic features, local climates, geographic boarders, mineral and energy deposits, petroleum gas fields, major infrastructure projects, and the latest Native Title Determinations and Indigenous Land Use Agreements.

The Office of Northern Australia developed this map in partnership with Geoscience Australia.

For printed copies email northernaustralia@infrastructure.gov.au

Connect with us

Subscribe to Our North, Our Future e-Newsletter

Receive regular news from the Office of Northern Australia about developing northern Australia and opportunities and events across the region.

See previous issues

Social media

  • Twitter, AusGov Northern Australia @northernaust
  • LinkedIn – Office of Northern Australia
    Follow our official hashtags #developingnorthernaustralia #ournorthourfuture
  • YouTube
    Watch the Office of Northern Australia channel for progress in the developing northern Australia agenda.

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