With 2023 now well underway, anecdotally, it appears that a lot of Territory businesses are reasonably busy, and things seem to be off to a good start for our first ‘post-COVID’ year.
Objectively, the data we see through our office supports this. In the first half of this fiscal year, ICN NT consulted on 3,217 work packages totalling $2.2B, surpassing last fiscal year’s three-year high of $2.15B, in half the time.
We are hopeful that this theme continues as we observe a steady flow of private and public sector projects publishing their opportunities to the market. If anything, the conversation has begun shifting from capability to capacity. Most significant procurement activities are now seriously considering contractor availability in their planning.
One of the key spaces to watch over the next few months will be the Northern Territory Government’s final implementations of Justice Pepper’s Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing. Which, by all accounts, should see the onshore gas industry being able to progress past exploration this year. Only time will tell what that really means for the ‘bigger picture’ of the Territory’s economy. But at a minimum, we know that the industry will require a significant amount of regional infrastructure and workforce.