Tiwi Islands: opportunity knocks

Tiwi Islands

The Tiwi Islands, made up of the two large but relatively undeveloped islands of Bathurst and Melville and several smaller, uninhabited islands, are considered attractive to investors for many reasons.

About the Tiwi Islands

Tiwi people are opening their community to investors, who they want to fuel economic development by launching new enterprises on their traditional land.

After extensive consultation, the Land Development Corporation has finalised an agreement with the Tiwi Land Council and Tiwi Aboriginal Land Trust to attract private investment.

Why the Land Development Corporation?

A significant benefit to investors is the support that can be provided by the Land Development Corporation, including interaction with Traditional Owners, assistance with Government process and technical advice.

The Land Development Corporation will support and facilitate the lease process for investors through the formal and informal arrangements it has negotiated with the Tiwi Land Council and Traditional Owners.


  • Access: 70 kilometres north of Darwin and accessible by sea and air.
  • Climate: two seasons during the year. Dry season from June to September, wet season from October to May.
  • Environment: over 780,000 hectares, being 10 times the size of Singapore. Largely undeveloped with a population of 2,600 people or .1% of the population of Singapore.
  • Attractions and Activities: fishing lodges, art centres and cultural museums.
  • Facilities: hire cars, fuel stations, tour buses, inter-island ferry, accommodation, shops, food outlets, health clinics, regional council offices and police stations.
The school teachers tell us that something very positive is happening in our classrooms. The kids have a purpose they can believe in; the know there are jobs and opportunities here on their own lands and with their families. That is why we welcome investors to take up some of the unique opportunities made available through our agreement with the Land Development Corporation to make secure land tenure available for tourism, agriculture and aquaculture industries. Gibson Farmer Illortaminni, Chairman of the Land Council

Business Models

Under the agreement with the Land Council and Land Trust, the Land Development Corporation may lease selected land for up to 99 years, on a commercial basis with a fair market value for rent. The agreement enables the Corporation to attract and facilitate investment through a range of business models that may be suitable, including private ownership or a joint venture with Tiwi people.

Development Opportunities

There are a range of opportunities available on the Tiwi Islands including:

  • Tourism and Residential
  • Aquaculture
  • Agriculture
  • Industrial

The aim is to create jobs and wealth on the Tiwi Islands through well-managed, sustainable economic development. The scale of any development is broad - it could be as small as one hectare or as large of 10,000 hectares. A total of 10,040 hectares is available on both Bathurst and Melville Islands. The Islands have unique benefits for investors including a trpoical climate, biosecurity due to the island location and greenfield land.

Current Industrial & Commercial Projects

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