Northern Territory 2023-24 Budget 

On the 9th of May 2023, Chief Minister Natasha Fyles and Treasurer Hon Eva Lawler MLA delivered their first Northern Territory budget. 

The Territory Government is committed to growing the Territory’s economy to $40 billion by 2030. Budget 2023 includes a range of initiatives to drive investment, create jobs and enhance productivity to support the Territory’s economic goals. 

It also includes new policy commitments for core government services including a significant increase in funding to the prison sector.

The Budget Papers can be accessed here.

Fiscal and Economic Outlook 

Key fiscal projections include a general government net operating balance deficit of $200 million in 2023-24. 

The Northern Territory is projecting a fiscal balance surplus within the three-year forward estimates period and sustained net operating balance surpluses when compared to the 2022-23 Budget. 

Gross state product (GSP) is estimated to decrease by 5.1% in 2022‑23. 

In contrast to the previous prediction of modest growth in the 2022-23 Budget, there is now an estimated 16.1% reduction in exports for that year. However, exports are expected to rebound in 2023-24 and 2024-25, and a significant increase is expected once the Barossa field becomes operational in 2025-26.

Cost of Living 

Budget 2023 includes a range of concessions, subsidies and incentives to reduce the cost of living. 

  • $40.6 million for the Northern Territory Concession, Northern Territory Seniors Recognition and the National Energy Bill Relief Program.
    • $3.5 million for small businesses 
    • $7.2 million for eligible households to support the National Energy Bill Relief Program
    • The $7.5 million Seniors Recognition Scheme 
  • $161.3 million in community service obligation payments is allocated to Power and Water Corporation and electricity retailers to subsidise utility costs
  • $5.5 million for the Early Childhood Services subsidy 

The budget sees a record $2.11 billion spend on infrastructure this fiscal year, up from $1.79 billion last year. 

  • $842.6 million to construct new and refurbish existing housing in remote and urban areas, and progress central business district (CBD) redevelopment works and residential land release across the Territory.
    • $601 million for remote housing across the Territory
    • $37.3 million to support youth diversion and homelessness programs
  • $85.4 million is provided for capital grants, mostly relating to homelands ($77 million), bringing the total value of projects and grants to $928 million. 
  • $227.8 million for works to construct new and upgrade existing arts, recreation and park facilities.
  • $64.5 million for environmental protection works, including flood mitigation.
  • $228.9 million to construct and upgrade new and existing hospitals and health facilities to support improved health outcomes for Territorians
    •  $37.3 million to upgrade the central sterilisation service departments at the Alice Springs, Katherine, Gove and Royal Darwin hospitals 
    • $30 million for works at Alice Springs Hospital including the ambulatory care centre and hybrid operating theatre
    •  $26.5 million for regional and remote hospitals and health clinics including fire remediation works at Gove District Hospital
    • a new mobile oral health dental unit for Central Australia and construction of staff accommodation at the Tennant Creek Hospital
    • $25 million for a 32-bed modular multipurpose ward at the Royal Darwin Hospital 
    • $45 million for maternity services in Territory hospitals, including 28 beds at Royal Darwin Hospital and 16 in Alice Springs, and 11 same-day beds 
Interstate and International Investment 
  • $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
  • $24 million in 2023-24 to continue to support events and festivals across the Territory
  • $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
  • $1 million over two years to investigate agribusiness and manufacturing opportunities for the Territory
Education and Training 

The budget invests $1.37 billion in education across the Territory including funding for:

  • $557 million for government schools’ resourcing
  • $35.3 million to continue to improve Aboriginal student outcomes through the delivery of programs
  • $4 million to introduce new and improved digital connectivity technologies for Territory schools, 
  • $2.8 million to upgrade homeland learning centres
  • $24 million towards apprenticeships and traineeships to offer Territorians the opportunity to study and earn an income while undertaking a qualification
  • $6.9 million for the Back to School payment scheme
Social Services 
  • $150.9 million in community safety infrastructure to expand and upgrade police, emergency services and youth justice facilities.
  •  $31 million additional support for out of home 
  • • $14 million as part of the redevelopment of the old Shiers Street public housing complex
  • • $11.3 million for upgraded and new remote service delivery hubs 
  • • $10.5 million to construct a new purpose-built youth hub facility
  • s $2.97 million to install oval lights at two remote community sporting grounds. 
  • $55.1 million for DFSV reduction programs and initiatives
  •  $4.1 million over four years to support the continued delivery of the Treaty process

Further information

For more information, please Hawker Britton’s Managing Director Simon Banks on +61 419 638 587

About the author

Be informed when news is published