About us

The Department of Primary Industry and Resources was established by the Northern Territory Government on 12 September 2016.

The department brings together many of the key functions that drive economic development on Northern Territory (NT) lands, coastal areas and inland waterways. 

Its operations cover the entire NT. Its major functional areas are mines and energy, fisheries and product integrity, primary industry economic development and NT geological survey.

These include regulatory and research functions related to:

  • mining
  • energy
  • gas
  • geoscience information
  • geological survey
  • mining environment remediation
  • agriculture including livestock and plant industries
  • fisheries management and compliance
  • aquaculture
  • agribusiness investment attraction and market development
  • agribusiness enterprise development
  • Indigenous economic development
  • biosecurity
  • animal welfare
  • community engagement
  • policy, strategy and compliance.

The department has one minister, one chief executive and has offices in each major region in the NT.

The gross value of production of NT primary industries and fisheries is over half a billion dollars annually (farm gate values). Demand from Asian markets to the north is growing and provides increased opportunity to find niche markets for development of existing NT industries, establishment of major agribusiness projects and to facilitate new inward investment in NT primary industries and fisheries.

The department plays a key role in the emerging agenda for the development of northern Australia. Its three areas of focus are growing new industries including diversification of existing production enterprises, protecting industries and market access and providing the specialist services needed for these operations.

It has a strong record of serving industry sectors with effective research, development, extension and product integrity assurance services and works with industry partners to convert this opportunity into profitable and sustainable development.

The department strives for innovation, flexibility and excellence in client service and continuous improvement in its operations to achieve the right balance of research, development and regulation to underpin profitable and sustainable growth of the NT economy in accordance with its key strategy document, the Industry Development Plan 2013‑2017 (2.5 mb).

The mining sector as a whole, including minerals and petroleum, accounts for about 12% of the NT economy and is the largest sector after construction. It has grown over the last 20 years consistent with the growth of the NT economy. More recently the expansion of the gas and condensate industries has led to expansion of the mining sector.

The department plays a key development and regulatory role in northern Australian minerals and petroleum resources. It manages the risks associated with historical mining sites, administers tenure and land access agreements for mining, petroleum and geothermal exploration and development and supports economic development and participation for Indigenous people.

Geological information underpins development of the mines and energy sectors. 

The department captures key information, packages and disseminates it in order to encourage the responsible development of the minerals and petroleum sectors of the economy.

It also targets investment opportunities with the aim of attracting local and international business investment partnerships.

Strategic plans

Industry Development Plan 2013-2017 

Strategic Plan 2014-17 (641.7 kb) (641.7 kb)

Annual reports

2016-17 Department of Primary Industry and Resources  (5.7 mb)

2015-16 Department of Mines and Energy (2.0 mb)

2015-16 Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries (6.2 mb)

To access previous annual reports go to the department's publications system.

Organisation structure

The department's organisational chart (59.9 kb) shows its major areas of focus and key regional locations.

Our Minister

Hon. Ken Vowles

Our management

CEO Alister Trier

Deputy Chief Executive 
Rod Applegate 

Armando Padovan 

Victoria Jackson

Strategy and Policy Coordination
Russell Ball

General manager 
Ian Curnow

Biosecurity and Animal Welfare
Michelle Rodan 

Fisheries and Aquaculture 
Glenn Schipp

Strategic Services
Christine Long

Corporate Communication
Zoe Malone

Major Agribusiness Projects
Lorraine Corowa

Livestock Industries Development
Neil MacDonald 

Plant Industries Development
Philip Hausler

Market and Enterprise Development

NT Geological Survey
Ian Scrimgeour 

HR, Risk and Audit
Rick Bishop 

Finance and Budget: CFO
Karen Simpson 

IT and Information Management: CIO
Rowan Dollar 

Work for the department

People of all age groups, cultural backgrounds and professional experience enjoy the benefits of working for the department.

The department's employment value proposition is designed to attract and retain our diverse workforce of highly motivated scientists, engineers, researchers, technicians, managers and administrative specialists.

The department is focused on strengthening current and future leaders, cultivating a passionate, innovative and diverse workforce while ensuring we have a strong work health and safety culture.

The Indigenous Employment and Career Development Strategy supports and encourages employment, retention and career development of Indigenous people.

See the Industry Development Plan (2.5 mb) (2.5 mb) for more information.

Read more about employment conditions on the Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment website.

The department's personal development and performance planning process allows for you and your supervisor to jointly set goals for your achievements to be acknowledged, and for your learning and career aspirations to be supported.

The department is committed to investing in the training and development of its people. The objective is to provide staff with the skills necessary to achieve quality results and aid career and personal development.

The department's study assistance policy provides various levels of support for professional education relevant to the department’s and our people’s aspirations.

Safety is part of our culture. The safety of people is our highest priority and an integral part of all activities and we believe no activity should compromise personal safety.

The department provides a free and confidential Employee Assistance Program to employees and their immediate families. The service is high value to employees deciding to use it and a departmental referral is not required. Assistance on a range of issues is available including:

  • management coaching service
  • relationship and child behaviour
  • vocational and career management advice
  • stress management
  • grief / critical incident response
  • alcohol and other drug issues
  • interpersonal conflict.

Last updated: 14 December 2017