Northern Territory Defence

The Northern Territory (NT) is an important strategic location for defence. This industry continues to make a substantial contribution to the NT economy through direct and indirect employment and demand for local goods and services. The defence industry also generates economic activity through major operations and exercises held in the NT, along with major capital infrastructure projects, many of which engage local businesses.

Infographic showing value of NT industry Infographic showing GSP Infographic showing persons employed Infographic show percentage of NT workforce

Economic contribution | Personnel | Housing | Bases and sites | Further informationExplanatory notes

Defence personnel generally move into the NT on a minimum of an one‑year posting, thus substantially contributing to population turnover in the NT. Families moving with defence personnel also contribute economically to the NT community by adding to the pool of available employees. Defence’s contribution to the NT’s population is significantly broader than personnel directly employed, as a significant number of defence force personnel arriving in the NT also bring with them spouses and children. It is estimated the NT’s total defence population (including personnel and their families) is approximately 12,000 people. The defence community directly contributes to the economic and social development of the region. Further, the number of US Marines arriving in the NT as part of the Joint Australia‑US Force Posture Initiative has increased significantly since the primary rotation, which is not included in the total defence force personnel data.

Economic contribution

Direct expenditure

In 2018-19:


In 2018-19:


In 2018-19:

Bases and sites

All three ADF services (army, navy and airforce) have multiple northern Australia bases. The army operates from Larrakeyah Barracks and Robertson Barracks; the navy is based at HMAS Coonawarra; and the air force has RAAF bases Darwin and Tindal in the NT.

Map 1: Major defence sites in the NT1

Defense site

1  This map is produced from various sources. Department of Treasury and Finance cannot guarantee the accuracy, currency, or completeness of the information. To be used as a guide only.
Source: Department of Treasury and Finance; DefenceNT; Department of Trade, Business and Innovation

Further information

Explanatory notes