Boundless downturn: retail and tourism figures decline


2588 retail turnover 1 OKLETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – The Territory economy continues to fall behind the rest of the country, as confirmed by the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures, released overnight.
Coupled with a decline in both visitation and spending from tourists, the Northern Territory’s economic landscape is simply getting worse.
The terrible statistics reinforce the hard truth that is already very familiar to Territorians and local businesses.
The latest ABS figures are taken from our dry season August period, which has historically been a busy time for the retail sector. To see such a sharp decline is very concerning and reinforces the perilous state of our economy.
Tourism, an important part of the Territory’s economy, has also waned as the NT is the only jurisdiction to have suffered a double digit decrease in visitation and spend.
In Alice Springs, tourism earnings are down 22%, reinforcing that the government’s much hyped tourism spend has not converted to results and visitation.
Despite the rhetoric, Labor has been completely ineffective in managing the Territory economy for two years, and it’s Territorians that are paying the price.
We need wealth creating major projects, an environment ripe for private investment and the 28,000 jobs Labor promised.
Gary Higgins
Leader of the Opposition
Graph provided by Mr Higgins.


  1. I contend the NT makes a good economic barometer for the country as a whole.
    The NT’s economy is often compared with the resources-dominant economies of WA and Queensland but I think that’s misleading.
    We’re far more dependent on Commonwealth support.
    However, the NT is politically insignificant on a national stage so when times start to get difficult, the welfare of the NT is not uppermost in most Federal politicians’ minds, especially when the respective governments (and Territory Federal representation) are of opposing political persuasions as happens to be the case right now. The signals are not good.
    In addition, there are some other indicators of concern. Fuel prices are rising significantly with apparently no relief in the near future.
    The drought is worsening and a new El Nino is imminent so food security may become an issue next year (markedly similar to the early 1980s coincident with the recession of that time).
    This could lead to inflationary pressure which might delight the Reserve Bank of Australia but not be of much mirth to many others at a time of flat-lining wages growth, high levels of personal indebtedness and rising bank interest rates.


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