East Arnhem is one of the last pristine tropical paradises in Australia with 60,000 years of rich cultural heritage, including a history of land rights, untouched beaches and incredible biodiversity. The region is perfectly suited to a wide variety of travellers interested in its unique culture. The East Arnhem tourism sector is currently embracing creative and innovative tourism product development and investment.
Local Yolŋu-owned business Gumatj Corporation, the Northern Territory Government and DEAL have supported Equatorial Launch Australia to develop the first commercial equatorial launch facility in Australia, to be based in East Arnhem. The Arnhem Space Centre is located on the Dhupuma Plateau, approximately 30 kilometres east of Nhulunbuy.
The current forestry industry in East Arnhem is small but regionally and strategically important. Traditional landowners run a sawmill and woodwork facility which is an example of a successful small-scale Indigenous forestry business that has potential to expand its current product range, which is currently focused on replacing imported construction materials including timber roof trusses and supply of specialty timber for local and regional markets.
East Arnhem has unique native products which, given the growing support for Indigenous native food industries, may have substantial appeal to both Australian and international markets. Kakadu plum and bush apples are two such examples of native products already seeing successful enterprise achievements locally.
In East Arnhem, for Yolŋu, land and sea are inseparably linked, with traditional owners having responsibility to manage the resources and environments of both their sea and land estates equally.
This provides significant opportunities to work with traditional owners, the Northern Land Council, the Northern Territory Government and the Northern Territory Seafood Council to explore future investment in commercial fishing partnerships.
The land management sector is well established in the region with Aboriginal ranger groups responsible for the maintenance of the Indigenous Protected Areas. Although the sector is generally dependent on government funding and grants, in recent times, there has been an increase in fee-for-service commercial activity.
The Northern Territory is at the frontline of Australia’s national security, and the defence sector contributes significantly to the Northern Territory economy. This is achieved through job creation, building infrastructure and demand for goods and services. Those employed in this industry, together with their families, total around 9,500 people, or 4% of the NT population.
There remains strong demand for aged care and disability services within the East Arnhem region, and with this demand comes significant opportunity for private and for-purpose entities to establish high quality services to support our community.
As Nhulunbuy and the Gove Peninsula transitions towards a post-mining future over the next 10 years, ongoing power generation will be a huge industry opportunity.