April 27th, 2021


March and April have been busy months for the team, with visits to a number of communities and homelands to support business development and tourism activities within the region. We are looking forward to spending more time engaging across the East Arnhem region as the dry season kicks in.

We hosted the DEAL Board in Nhulunbuy in April. This provided a great opportunity for the Board to meet with stakeholders to discuss important issues including workforce development and the post-mining future of the Gove Peninsula. We also spent time visiting our housing portfolio, and discussing asset management planning to ensure the sustainability, safety and liveability of our housing stock, given how important it is to regional business growth.

Focus has also been on our industry development activities, which are critical to ensuring we are planning well in advance to grow alternative industries that will support jobs and revenue in the region beyond mining.

Looking forward, we are excited to be welcoming the regional forestry research project team back to East Arnhem in May. You can read more about work under this project in this newsletter. May will also see the East Arnhem Land tourism Destination Management Plan completed, and we look forward to sharing that with you soon.


DEAL’s new business support services are now fully operational with two clients signed up and service arrangements being finalised with several others. Businesses using this service are from a range of communities and homelands from across the East Arnhem region. Our Business Support Manager Emma Drew has been putting in large amounts of work to establish the role and the variety of supports required to onboard new clients. Since the services were implemented, Emma has supported two board meetings and three grant applications, the establishment of a new corporation, and the development of foundational policies and procedures.

You can read more about the Business Support Manager role and the services this role offers here.


We circulated the Fact Base for the East Arnhem Landowner Prospectus project late last year. Since its release, we have been working with various stakeholders on developing an approach to sharing the opportunities contained in the Fact Base with Yolŋu traditional owners, boards, communities and homelands across the region. This was an early priority identified in this project – ensuring there are feedback loops on the research that has been done in this region about industry opportunities for Yolŋu. 

Over the coming weeks, we will be testing the approach to sharing the information in the Fact Base with a Yolŋu focus group to ensure it is fit for purpose and informative. Following this, the DEAL team will be meeting with Yolŋu organisations, communities and homelands across the region to share this important information and identify actions to take forward opportunities where there is interest.

If you would like to learn more about the East Arnhem Landowner Prospectus project, please contact our Industry Development Facilitator Chris Gillies at industry@developingeastarnhem.com.au


The East Arnhem Commercial Forestry Opportunities research project is well underway with some significant work planned over the coming months. Pending final approvals, this will include the first felling at the pilot site in Birany Birany, where timber from the site will be used to construct a shaded meeting place in the homeland and also sent to a research mill as part of better understanding product development and market opportunities. There will also be forest inventory mapping and further forest resource assessments conducted alongside this part of the project.

We have identified a number of locations where traditional owners have expressed interest in participating in inventory works, but if you are aware of other groups who may wish to have some mapping done on their country, please contact our Industry Development Facilitator Chris Gillies at industry@developingeastarnhem.com.au and we can provide further details.


Are you involved in the East Arnhem tourism industry and would like to be kept up to date with what is happening around the region? DEAL’s Tourism Development Officer Ryley Heap provides regular tourism industry updates via email. We highly recommend tourism operators, stakeholders or interested parties sign up to receive Ryley’s updates. The latest edition was released on Friday 23 April and included updates on:

  • East Arnhem Live feasibility study
  • Brolga Awards 2021
  • Successful Aboriginal Tourism Grant recipients
  • Aboriginal Tourism Sector Conference


A significant milestone for the Gove Port Tourism Precinct project was reached early this month with the awarding of the design tender. The design team has visited the project site as part of early planning works and to meet with key project stakeholders. Design works are expected to take 22 weeks, following which time early works packages will be progressed for construction.

The Gove Port Tourism Precinct is a joint project between DEAL, National Indigenous Australians Agency, the Northern Territory Government, Gumatj Corporation, Ŋarrariyal Aboriginal Corporation and the Gove Boat Club. The project is a great example of regional stakeholders working together to achieve a fit for purpose facility for the region to support economic diversification.


Regions Rising National Summit

Our CEO and Industry Development Facilitator attended Regional Australia Institute’s Regions Rising National Summit in March. At the summit, Regional Australia Institute launched its Liveability Toolkit, which has been developed in response to the growing need in regional communities to attract and retain residents. 

The Liveability Toolkit is a fantastic resource for regional towns around Australia and was released at a particularly beneficial time for DEAL, as we are in the development stages of a liveability guide for East Arnhem. 

Based on the research that underpins the toolkit, the East Arnhem region is an attractive place to live, given we offer a high standard of core services such as education and health that are key factors in the decision-making about moving to regional Australia. The toolkit will help us ensure we are well positioned to provide a useful, evidence-based resource for East Arnhem businesses looking to attract staff and for people looking at moving to the region.  

You can view the Regional Australia Institute’s Liveability Toolkit here.

Tourism Towards 2030

DEAL’s Tourism Development Officer attended Tourism NT’s Tourism Towards 2030 Conference in March. The conference was held in Darwin over one packed day. The conference included informative presentations on topics such as on how to take steps to make tourism destinations and businesses more accessible to all travellers, domestic drive market opportunities and how operators can benefit, and how events and packaging will grow tourism numbers and expenditure.

Posted in: DEAL news