Katherine is the focal point of a vibrant, diverse economic region called the Big Rivers region. The Big Rivers region has a broad‑based economy with agriculture, mining, tourism, defence and government service delivery the main industries.
Katherine is located on the road junction of Victoria and Stuart highways, connecting the Ord River and Kimberley regions with the Darwin market to the north and south to Alice Springs and Adelaide. The region is experiencing a period of economic growth driven by significant projects such as Katherine’s CDB revitalisation and Australian Defence construction at Tindal air force base.
Mixed use hotel development
Within the Katherine Regional Land Use Plan is Katherine East, a new neighbourhood planned to accommodate the town’s growth. Within the concept plan for this area is a mixed use commercial concept designed to support the new neighbourhood.
- retail and commercial shopping
- tourism accommodation
- lifestyle / retirement village
- education / child care facilities
- medium density residential.
Diverse local economy driving visitation
Katherine attracts on average 354 000 visitors per annum, staying an average of 4.3 nights. Australians make up 90% of all travel to the region.
To date, Katherine has attracted investment in mining, agribusiness and tourism. The most significant stimulus to the Katherine regional economy in the next 20 years is the Australian Government’s investment in the Northern Territory’s defence infrastructure. This investment is estimated to exceed $7 billion and projects will mainly be
in the Top End including Katherine. Defence contributes an estimated $42 million annually to the Katherine economy in direct and indirect expenditure on goods and services.
Mining is the most significant industry in the Big Rivers region in terms of value, accounting for over 21% ($293 million) of the Northern Territory’s gross regional product in 2012. There are a number of mining operations in the region with the largest mine, the McArthur River Mine located south-west of Borroloola. The potential for Katherine to act as the regional service and supply hub to the mining and onshore oil / gas sectors is very strong.
The Northern Territory Government has committed to Katherine’s development as a northern Australia transport hub to support the region’s potential as a major mining, horticulture and agricultural site. The Northern Territory Government is in development stages of the Katherine Logistics and Agribusiness Hub to support existing industry and support new developments across multiple sectors.
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