Australia's leading defence officials and industry leaders will converge in Darwin today for the 7th Annual Northern Australia Defence Summit.
The two-day Summit brings together Defence officials, industry leaders and military commanders, and a key focus will be on the Territory's strategic importance to future prosperity and security of our nation.
The NT Government said it is positioning the Territory as the capital of Northern Australia to benefit from the $20 billion of Australian Defence Force construction projects planned over the next 20-years.
Darwin's Ship Lift and marine services will be on the agenda - with the Australian Industry Defence Network NT backing the project.
The Government wants to build a ship lift in Darwin which will bring around $260 million into the NT economy and create about 400 jobs during construction and ongoing.
Earlier this month Australian Navy's Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm made the case for the Navy's requirement to establish four Regional Maintenance Centres for maintenance of its vessels - including one in Darwin.
This is a strategic investment into the Territory's economic future to unlock the North's job-creating potential.
The Regional Maintenance Centre will operate with the Ship Lift to service all types of Navy vessels, with a focus on a highly skilled and consistent local workforce. This will ensure that marine engineering and maintenance jobs in Darwin will stay in Darwin, and only grow.
The Northern Territory's Defence Advocate Air Vice Marshal Margaret Staib will also be speaking at the Northern Australia Defence Summit.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner said: "The Government knows that Defence will play a significant role in its investment and job creation in the NT over the next 20 years - and we want local businesses to get the best shot possible at winning contracts. These contracts will provide thousands of jobs for Territorians.
"The Northern Territory has an incredibly bright economic future within reach.
"This is why the Government is investing in job creating infrastructure right across the Territory, and this is why we are partnering with local business to deliver game changing projects like the Ship Lift."
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