26 Nov 2020

Developing Northern Australia

Northern Australia is a key region for the Australian oil and gas industry, hosting several major onshore and offshore projects. This year’s Developing Northern Australia Conference, now in its sixth year, represented an opportunity to celebrate the region’s economic prowess and developmental innovation, and discuss how that prowess can be pushed even further.

Key decision makers and industry representatives from across the country attended the three-day event, which ran from November 23–25 in Rockhampton.

The conference is developed each year in alignment with the Australian Government’s white paper Our North, Our Future, a 20-year plan designed to drive regional growth by implementing six pillars for Northern Australian investment.

These pillars include economic diversification; world-class infrastructure; water infrastructure development; research and innovation; encouraging Indigenous entrepreneurship and businesses; and creating a trade and investment gateway.

The oil and gas industry continues to strengthen regional areas across Northern Australia, developing infrastructure, creating jobs and providing economic opportunity. A new EY report commissioned by APPEA highlighted the important role the industry will continue to play in our post-COVID recovery and beyond.

The maximum number allowed to attend this year’s conference was 500 people due to safety restrictions imposed by COVID-19; the limit of 300 people showed up in person, with a further 200 registering their attendance virtually. The event organisers worked closely with Queensland Health to make sure proceedings were executed under a specified COVID-safe plan.

In addition to the usual discussion around each of these pillars, the 2020 program added two days of specialty networking sessions (including a virtual networking function) to drive further collaboration and business opportunities among attendees.For more information, or to register your interest in next year’s event, visit northaust.org.au.