Enabling infrastructure and essential services for remote NT communities (Wadeye, Tiwi Islands, Jabiru)

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Enabling infrastructure and essential services for remote NT communities (Wadeye, Tiwi Islands, Jabiru)

Infrastructure services for remote NT communities
Potential investment options (Stage 2)
Remote locations in the Northern Territory: Jabiru region/Arnhem Highway, Wadeye region/Port Keats Road, Tiwi Islands
Small towns, rural communities and remote areas
Remote Infrastructure
Problem/Opportunity timeframe
Near term (0-5 years)
Proposed By
NT Government
Date added to the IPL
17 February 2016


This proposal identifies infrastructure problems in three remote regions of the Northern Territory:

  • Jabiru, and the Arnhem Highway, which connects Jabiru to Darwin.
  • Wadeye (Port Keats) and other nearby remote communities, and the Port Keats Road, which connects Wadeye to Darwin.
  • The Tiwi Islands.

These remote communities lack the infrastructure required for sustainable economic and social development. For example:

  • key road corridors, such as the Arnhem Highway and the Daly River Road, can be severely impacted by floods during the wet season, severing land transport access for remote communities for extended periods of time
  • essential services infrastructure, such as water storage and sewerage management, is not always adequate for the population it supports
  • demand for community infrastructure, such as youth centres and public housing, can often outstrip the available supply.

These infrastructure deficiencies constrain the economic development of these remote regions and can impose significant social costs on the local populations. 

The NT Government aims to transition Jabiru from a mining services town to a tourism and government services hub for the region, in line with the vision of the Mirarr Traditional Owners. Investment will be focused on facilitating private investment in new power generation infrastructure for Jabiru, upgrades to essential services network, improved transport access and other facilitating infrastructure to attract private investment in new commercial and tourism facilities.

Potential options

This proposal proposes a portfolio of upgrades to road infrastructure, as well as a range of essential services and community infrastructure upgrades to support economic and social development, including:

  • road upgrades to improve the accessibility and flood resilience of key road networks
  • new or improved water storage facilities and wastewater management facilities in a number of remote population centres
  • additional public housing and upgrades to social infrastructure, such as community centres and youth centres.

The Adelaide River Floodplain upgrade on the Arnhem Highway is under delivery.

Next steps

Proponent to complete business case development (Stage 3 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).