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Alice Springs and Katherine


Investment type:

Residential accommodation/government leasing



Construction or land and property

The opportunity

An exciting opportunity exists to be a part of the Northern Territory’s growing residential housing market.

The Northern Territory Government is seeking developers to deliver new residential dwellings in Alice Springs and Katherine. These dwellings will support the ongoing delivery of services in the region by addressing the existing shortage of accommodation in Alice Springs and Katherine for key workers.

The NT Government requires up to 90 units in Alice Springs and up to 120 units in Katherine to deliver Territory employee dwellings in the regions. In addition to the requirements for the Territory employee dwellings, the successful developers will be required to match it with residential accommodation offerings for sale or rent in the private market. The residential dwellings are to be designed, delivered and maintained by the private sector.

Further to addressing the core requirement for residential accommodation, the NT Government seeks to encourage and facilitate, broader social and economic benefits for Alice Springs and Katherine.

Developers able to deliver the core residential accommodation requirement in a timely manner, while maximising the opportunity for broader social and economic benefits will be assessed favourably.

The residential accommodation sought represents an important element of the NT Government’s vision of attracting and retaining people to the regions.

Request for Tender

The NT Government will publish a Request for Tender (RFT) to identify interested parties who have the necessary experience and capacity to plan, manage and deliver the proposed project in accordance with the Territory Families, Housing and Communities Design Guidelines (which will be included in the RFT).

Proposals will be sought from suitably qualified parties interested in submitting for the right to design, develop and lease to the NT Government for a period of 10 years, new or redeveloped residential accommodation located within the Alice Springs and Katherine areas.

The central concept is the development (or redevelopment) by a private developer to include up to 90 residential units in Alice Springs and 120 in Katherine to be leased by the NT Government.

The residential units may include low and medium density offerings that provide secure, comfortable and modern residential accommodation; as well as maximising the opportunity for broader social and economic benefits for Alice Springs and Katherine.

The NT Government recognises there are many ways in which a proposal may be structured in terms of the delivery of residential accommodation and any additional mixed uses. As such, the Territory is seeking innovative, original proposals.

The NT Government will enter into an Agreement for Lease with the successful tenderer(s) for the construction phase of the project and, upon completion, leases in respect of each dwelling.

The NT Government will pay rent for each of the Territory employees dwelling leases but does not intend to provide any funding or financial contribution towards the project outside of the rent payable.


The NT Government envisages commencement of construction in the 2022/23 financial year to enable occupation of the residential accommodation by 2024/25.

Tenderers with the ability to act quickly or accelerate existing development will be assessed favourably.

The RFT will be published on the NT Government Quotations and Tender Online portal in September 2022.

It is anticipated that following evaluation of the RFT, the NT Government will enter into negotiations with suitable tenderer(s) to enter into an Agreement for Lease.

Why the Territory

Our economy is growing fast.

In the year to March 2022, private new capital expenditure in the Territory increased by 47.4 per cent to $2.3 billion, the largest increase of all Australian jurisdictions.

This reflects a 23.2 per cent increase in expenditure on equipment, plant and machinery to $718 million, and a 62.3 per cent increase in expenditure on buildings and structures to $1.5 billion.

Nationally, private new capital expenditure increased by 10.1 per cent to $133.3 billion over the same period.

Territorian employers offer top working conditions to attract skilled workers; the wages are strong and business hours are flexible so balancing work with play is a way of life.

Diverse roles and plentiful job opportunities mean that you can choose a role in the Territory that fits you perfectly.

Most workers experience an accelerated career pathway in the Territory meaning you can grow, learn and get to the top much quicker.

We welcome the bold and the innovative.

Alice Springs

Located in the geographical centre of Australia, the Central Australia region has deep spiritual origins dating back more than 30 000 years. It is a land of extremes, with hot summer days and frosty, sub-zero winter nights. Accounting for approximately 40 per cent of the Territory, the region’s 600 000 km2 comes alive with lush grasses and wildflowers following summer storms.

Recognised as one of the most diverse and accepting communities in Australia, Alice Springs is home to people from all corners of the globe.

The suburban landscape in Alice is typified by large blocks of land and ground level homes. Many families are drawn to the area due to the convenience of schools, parks and activities for the kids. Older houses were built as government housing in the 1940s and 50s.

In recent years, units have become more common due to the influx of singles to the area for opportunity and adventure.

Alice Springs has a fully equipped teaching hospital and a range of GPs, dentists and other specialised health services.

Boasting more than 26 000 residents, it is the NT’s largest town, and the major economic, business and service centre for the region. Alice Springs also services parts of South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland and is the central hub for many neighbouring remote communities and travelers in search of adventure.

The region’s economy is sustained by the mining, tourism and primary industry sectors, and is underpinned by government funding for regional service delivery and defence.

With an unemployment rate of only 2.9 per cent in the December 2019 quarter, many employment opportunities exist in Alice Springs across both the public and private sectors.

The region comprises three local government areas: Alice Springs Town Council and the Central Desert and MacDonnell regional councils.

Regional economic data

  • Central Australia is home to almost 39,500 people.
  • The value of residential building approvals in Alice Springs was $44.72m in the Apr-20 FYTD financial year. (ABS Building Approvals)
  • 29.6 per cent of the labour force is aged 50+ (2016 Census)
  • The public administration and safety sector in Alice Springs has a stabilising effect on the overall labour force.
  • About half (52.8 per cent) of the Central Australian population speak only English, while approximately 1 in 5 (22.7 per cent) speak an Aboriginal language at home.

ABS quick stats for Alice: 2016 Alice Springs (T), Census All persons QuickStats | Australian Bureau of Statistics (


Stretching from the Gulf of Carpentaria near the Queensland border towards the Kimberley in the west, the outback meets the tropics at Katherine. See the mighty Katherine River flowing through Katherine Gorge (Nitmiluk National Park), or head out for camping and adventure in the Elsey and Gregory national parks. The nearby Daly River and the Gulf Region are renowned as top fishing destinations, and nearby Mataranka is rich in history.

Located 320 kilometres south-east of Darwin, Katherine has an estimated population of 11,000. It is an important regional centre supporting the pastoral and horticultural industries and services surrounding communities.

The region accounts for approximately 25 per cent of the Northern Territory’s land mass at 340 000km², encompassing three Local Government Areas ; Katherine Town Council and the Victoria-Daly and Roper Gulf regional councils.

Strategically important to the future growth of the region, Katherine is on the brink of expansion.

It’s the critical transport link for Northern Australia, connecting the Ord River and Kimberley to the west, Alice Springs to the south, Darwin to the north and access to Queensland to the east. The north-south transcontinental rail route also passes through Katherine connecting Darwin to Adelaide.

Katherine is also the closest major regional centre to the Port of Darwin; the only major multimodal port located in Northern Australia and strategically located as Australia’s gateway to the Asia Pacific.

Given its economic potential, plans are underway to develop a Logistics and Agribusiness Hub located near the township which will support growth of the agribusiness, mining, defence, transport and tourism sectors.

Katherine’s geo-strategic location positions it as critical to Australia’s northern defence capacity; and the surrounding abundance of natural resources, vast land mass and unique landscapes offer world class capability in agriculture, energy, resources and tourism.

The region boasts some of the most significant economic activity in Northern Australia including:

  • one of the largest global deposits of zinc-lead at McArthur River Mine
  • the exploration of the Beetaloo Sub-basin as a world-class shale gas resource and home to over three-quarters of the Northern Territory’s prospective shale gas resources with an industry estimation of a ‘P50 gas-in-place resource’ of at least 500 trillion cubic feet in one shale layer alone
  • Katherine’s photovoltaic park (34MW); the largest solar farm in the Northern Territory and a major contributor to the Northern Territory Government’s objective of producing 50 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030
  • home to Larrimah Agricultural Precinct Development; one of the three largest agriculture land releases in the history of the Northern Territory delivering almost 100 000 hectares into production in the coming years
  • production of 20 per cent of Australia’s mango supply and 38 per cent of Australia’s premium live beef exports
  • home to some of the most renowned tourism destinations in Northern Australia including Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge), Elsey and Judbarra (Gregory) national parks.

Regional data

  • Katherine is home to almost 21 000 people.
  • The value of residential building approvals in the Katherine region was $28.37m in the Apr-20 FYTD financial year. (ABS Building Approvals)
  • 27.4 per cent of the labour force is aged 50+ (2016 Census)
  • Around 46 per cent of Katherine’s population speak only English, while approximately 33 per cent speak an Aboriginal language at home.

2016 Katherine, Census All persons QuickStats | Australian Bureau of Statistics (

Swimming hole

Cattle herd

Updated 02 August 2022