Strategic Plan 2018-2022

Message from the Chief Executive

Plant and animal products; energy and mineral resources; safeguarding our product integrity; these are all central to the Northern Territory’s history and critical for our future prosperity. The Territory has the natural advantage of a clean, safe image and proximity to important markets, and we need to make the most of that.

The Department of Primary Industry and Resources plays an integral, enabling role through the development and regulation of our industries, which are significant to our economy and to advancing our regions. Our roles are diverse, with industries ranging from mining and pastoral to horticulture and commercial fishing. Our department is also working to develop and protect our iconic reputation as a great place for recreational fishing.

In setting our future direction, I am pleased to present the Department of Primary Industry and Resources 2018-2022 Strategic Plan. This plan outlines our vision and five major goals, along with strategic actions and outcomes to guide our work. In order to deliver outcomes that align with our strategic direction we need to target our efforts in the right places. Strategic actions have been developed to recognise critical priorities and actions that are adaptable to future changes.

Recognising our people are our greatest strength is a key goal of this plan. This department has a strong foundation of working professionally and collaboratively with industry, across government and with Aboriginal Territorians to achieve respect, trusting relationships and common goals. A commitment to stakeholder engagement is key to our future success.

This strategic plan encapsulates diversity; in the work we do, the research we undertake, the industries we support and in our workforce. We recognise diversity and the positive benefits it brings, such as wider perspectives, informed decision- making and innovation.

Rapid advancements in technology and how they affect our industries and our ability to improve the understanding of our resource potential is significant to our future direction. Recognising the need to ensure our systems and capabilities are equipped to meet requirements of a globally connected society now and in the future has made this a crucial goal of this plan.

We have exciting times ahead and the clarity, direction and focus of this plan will help the department achieve its goals and deliver the vision that shows the Northern Territory’s primary industries and resources help drive economic growth.

Chief Executive Officer

Our Values

  • Commitment to Service
  • Ethical Practice
  • Respect
  • Accountability
  • Impartiality
  • Diversity

Our Vision

The Northern Territory’s primary industries and resources drive economic growth

The Department of Primary Industry and Resources is a Northern Territory Government public sector department created in September 2016 to provide long-term economic and community benefits to the Northern Territory. It does this by facilitating investment in the sustainable development of the Northern Territory’s lands, coastal areas, agriculture, minerals and energy resources, and by encouraging our people to use their skills and innovation to achieve best practice in the safest way.

The department brings together many of the key functions that drive economic development on Northern Territory lands, coastal areas and inland waterways, and represents a significant component of the Northern Territory economy.

The department operates a range of facilities including research farms, stations, scientific precincts and offices in different climatic zones throughout the Territory.

Staff work across varied professions to stimulate the development of plant and animal-based agriculture, commercial (wild-caught and aquaculture), recreational and tourism fishing, and mining and energy-based industries to meet government objectives.

The department has regulatory responsibilities for food safety, animal welfare, agricultural and veterinary chemicals, administration of minerals and energy tenure, regulation of mineral and energy projects, and the capture and assessment of the geology of the Northern Territory.

The department aims to enhance the economic sustainability of the Territory through contemporary biosecurity regulation to enhance and sustain market access and give consumers confidence in the safety of our primary produce. There is also a significant role in providing access and protection to the marine estate for the long-term future of recreational and commercial activities.

The activities of the department are underpinned by skilled staff in project management, administration, regulation and compliance, finance, procurement, property, information and communication technology, records, media, strategic communication and human resource management. The Northern Territory Public Sector core values guide how the department delivers services to Territorians and how we are expected to perform our duties.

Our stakeholders include those involved in the industries that we serve and, importantly, also includes the general community, recreational fishers, the tourism industry and others who are touched by our operations. We have an important role in the fabric of the Northern Territory’s society.

Our role is to work with all stakeholders to enable sustainable growth and development. In doing this we aim to:

  • support Aboriginal and regionally-based business to provide economic and employment opportunities
  • ensure the Northern Territory optimises benefits from its agriculture, fisheries, minerals and energy sectors
  • capitalise on opportunities arising through the Developing Northern Australia agenda to achieve real results for the Northern Territory.

Our Goals

GOAL 1 - Promote and facilitate the development of our primary industries and resources

The department supports businesses in the minerals, oil and gas, horticultural, aquaculture, fishing, forestry, agricultural and pastoral sectors to grow and generate economic activity in a sustainable way. While doing this we support Aboriginal business development and employment, recognising their cultural custodianship of the land and seas.

Our industries are major economic drivers in regional and remote areas and have significant potential to create and increase wealth and employment opportunities for regional Territorians.

The department promotes and facilitates development of Territory primary industries and resources through investment attraction activities, investor support, market access maintenance and development, and research development and extension initiatives. We aspire to co-innovate with stakeholders where we can to leverage our research and development capability. The Territory’s stable investment climate supports promotion of the Territory’s unique primary industry and resource opportunities.

Outcomes and strategic actions to progress work against this goal are captured in the table below.

Our industries are growing and sustainable
1.1 Promote the potential of our resources and help industry to attract investment
1.2 Maintain market access and expand market options for Territory products
1.3 Support the development, harmonisation and implementation of industry plans
Aboriginal business growth and employment  opportunities
1.4 Identify and support viable Aboriginal business development and employment opportunities
1.5 Encourage Aboriginal leadership opportunities in regional and remote communities
Key regional economies are transformed
1.6 Support the agribusiness potential of the Big Rivers Regions through the development of the Katherine Agribusiness and Logistics Hub.
1.7 Support the development of Tennant Creek as the mining, minerals and petroleum services centre of the Northern Territory
1.8 Support the Northern Territory’s transitioning mining towns to identify opportunities for sustainable futures
1.9 Influence whole-of-government actions to facilitate critical infrastructure investment in regional areas
1.10 Facilitate the development of primary industry and resource precincts
Industries are more profitable and sustainable and innovation is adopted
1.11 Undertake research, development, extension and services to improve the profitability and sustainability of our industries
1.12 Co-innovate with stakeholders to leverage our research and development capability
1.13 Align our research, development and extension with industry needs

GOAL 2 - Collaborate and strengthen relationships with our stakeholders and the community

Developing strong and productive relationships with stakeholders, industry and the community supports us to achieve department outcomes.

The foundation of collaboration, trust and respect allows us to create partnerships for common goals. This includes partnerships with industry and Aboriginal groups to develop opportunities in regional areas and working across government, with other jurisdictions, the Australian Government and other national organisations. A commitment to stakeholder engagement is key to our future success.

The department can facilitate improved stakeholder capability by enhancing the impact of our research and development. Effective extension services enable the uptake of new ideas, processes and technology to support a dynamic and competitive industry.

Also, working with the community and industry is important for developing a shared understanding of resource management responsibilities and developing trust.

Outcomes and strategic actions to progress work against this goal are captured in the table below.

Strong local, national and global partnerships
2.1 Facilitate partnerships with local and national industry groups
2.2 Strengthen collaborative partnering with Northern Territory Government departments
2.3 Collaborate with other jurisdictions and the Australian Government, with a focus on the Developing Northern Australia agenda
2.4 Engage with stakeholders, the community, other jurisdictions and the Australian government to manage biosecurity risk as a shared responsibility
2.5 Ensure the Northern Territory primary industry and resources sectors are linked to relevant Australian and international policy, and research and development organisations
Improved stakeholder capability
2.6 Facilitate partnerships to build industry capacity
2.7 Conduct activities to enhance the impact of our research and development
2.8 Build stakeholder awareness and understanding of roles and responsibilities
Engagement and trust established with the general community
2.9 Participate and partner with the training and education sector.
2.10 Promote public awareness and understanding of our industries
2.11 Demonstrate transparency in our processes, decision making and communications

GOAL 3 - Use regulation of our industries and resources as a foundation for appropriate economic development

Providing industry frameworks to  ensure sustainable development and  safeguard the community, stakeholders and industry from threats  is a core role of the department. This is done through various  applications due to the diversity of industries and administration roles we have across  the department. Well-regulated industries show maturity and a level of certainty that can boost  attraction and investment. Robust, fair and transparent legislation, regulations and policies  build trust and give our stakeholders clear  boundaries to work within.

Risk must be logically evaluated and  mitigation plans prepared for incidents and  emergencies, supported through short-term response  preparedness. When threats  materialise or incidents occur, it is important that industries and communities are prepared  through engagement and education to maximise early  intervention and rapid,  cost-effective responses.

Regulation is key to gaining and maintaining market access.  To take advantage of our markets to the north,  we must be able  to compete on the international stage, and our  competiveness will  be underpinned by the  quality of our  products and the quality  assurance that underpins them.  The demand for clean, natural and safe products  will increase and our reputation will be maintained by a sensible approach  to biosecurity.

Outcomes and strategic actions to progress work against  this goal are captured in the table below.

Transparent and consistent operating environment
3.1 Maintain clear and pragmatic policies to facilitate industry development
3.2 Ensure legislation, regulations and policy are contemporary, adequate and efficient
3.3 Streamline and improve our administrative processes
3.4 Ensure consistent and transparent application of our legislation and policies
Early detection and rapid response to incidents and  threats
3.5 Develop risk-based frameworks to rapidly assess and respond to threats
3.6 Deliver strong surveillance and monitoring programs to ensure protection against threats and incidents
3.7 Encourage community and industry involvement in surveillance and response preparedness
Regulatory effort is focused on the greatest risk
3.8 Work alongside industry to adopt self-regulation where appropriate
3.9 Consult with, and inform stakeholders on processes and policy settings
3.10 Adopt a risk based approach to mining and petroleum regulation

GOAL 4 - Support our people to be productive while feeling valued, respected, supported and safe

Our people  are our greatest  strength. We must value,  respect and support  staff and their  development to ensure we achieve our vision. This begins by a commitment to safety and a safe working environment by investing in systems that manage risk and promote  an enhanced health  and safety culture.  We are committed to improved  systems to prevent  work-related injuries, illnesses  and unsafe work practices.

Diversity is a core Northern Territory  Public Sector value. We strive for  diversity and the positive benefits it brings, including  wider perspectives, informed  decision-making and innovation. Embracing workplace  diversity supports an inclusive  and positive workplace culture  and enhances our capability. While our organisation’s culture  is multi-faceted and difficult to measure, fostering positive, can-do  attitudes and celebrating contributions and achievements supports a strong  workplace culture.

The effects of an ageing  workforce highlight the  need for preparedness to ensure the  retention of corporate knowledge when experienced people retire. This includes mentoring and  succession planning, as well as robust recruitment initiatives to attract and retain highly  skilled people.

We work in highly technical fields and technology is  rapidly developing worldwide. We need to rapidly adapt with innovation and ensure our people are trained, skilled and  engaged to be responsive.

Enhanced communication also supports a transparent and shared pathway. A strong understanding of roles to ensure clarity and accountability, clearly defining processes to mitigate risk  and ensuring mechanisms for two-way  dialogue, are critical to building a productive and safe working  environment.

To achieve our goals requires  strong leadership, and we must continue to invest  in leadership development.

Outcomes and strategic actions  to progress work against this goal are captured in the table below.

A safe place to work
4.1 Provide a safe working environment and use safe practices
4.2 Invest in workplace health and safety leadership development
4.3 Maintain an effective health and safety risk assessment and management system
Diversity and a positive workplace
4.4 Improve workplace communication through transparency and accountability
4.5 Update workforce planning and recruitment strategies to target diversity
4.6 Value our people’s contribution and celebrate achievements
4.7 Cultivate a positive workplace culture that supports behaviours consistent with our values
4.8 Create better workplace settings and networking opportunities to connect people and encourage intellectual exchange
An agile, skilled and resilient workforce
4.9 Undertake a detailed skills audit and develop a clear workforce plan designed to address skills gaps, retain talent and align capability with our strategic direction
4.10 Ensure use of a modern performance development and review system to connect staff development and workload planning to strategic direction
4.11 Develop mentoring and succession planning across the organisation
4.12 Strengthen our functional leadership and management capacity to drive implementation of our strategies

GOAL 5 - Build capability, adopt contemporary technology and improve service delivery

The maturity and effectiveness  of our structures and systems has a direct impact on workplace performance. Technology has advanced the way business is done, and  our processes and  systems can be changed to radically  improve our operations, including  governance, financial  and business performance management systems.

We also require an organisational architecture aligned to  our strategy, and one that improves the flow of communication between work units to leverage  the expertise in our  department, and across government to  achieve our goals. Rationalising and reforming  our departmental structures to align with the strategic directions will deliver  a streamlined, effective and efficient operation.

Streamlining our corporate and technology systems  will improve our capacity  to deliver reliable, effective and efficient  support to stakeholders. Providing digital  solutions that are lean, contemporary, scalable  and intuitive will ensure we are equipped to meet stakeholder requirements, now and in the future.

Our internal financial, business and project planning  systems need to be contemporary and responsive with transparent and effective reporting and assessment tools to underpin  our focus on continual improvement.

We need to modernise data and spatial  information management systems  and processes, leveraging data as one of our most important assets. Our data and spatial  information management need continuity in design, maintenance, quality assurance and review  processes.

As the digitisation of systems, processes and services increase, we must rapidly respond  and leverage new opportunities when appropriate, such as drones, secure  data access, molecular science and social  media, to deliver services  in ways the community and stakeholders expect.

Outcomes and strategic actions to progress work against  this goal are captured in the table below.

Workforce is integrated and structure aligned with  strategy
5.1 Undertake a review of the organisational and governance structure of the department to align with our strategy
5.2 Develop systems to allow resource and talent sharing across work units
Business, governance and administrative systems and  processes that are robust, easy to use and fast
5.3 Adopt new technology and continue to streamline all of our systems and processes to optimise performance
5.4 Find and seize opportunities to standardise similar business processes across work units
5.5 Maintain robust systems and processes that ensure accountability to government and the community is achieved
Our data is used and shared to full capacity and we  are using the best technology for our work
5.6 Identify opportunities to integrate and improve data management
5.7 Continuously evaluate and adopt new and emerging technologies suitable to our business
5.8 Use existing and emerging technology to improve service delivery

Strategic Plan Framework


Last updated: 14 August 2019