Paul MaddenHigh Commissioner, Canberra
I visited Darwin, capital of the Northern Territory this week. Although NT covers a vast land area, as seen in the Nicole Kidman film “Australia”, it represents only about 1% of Australia’s population and GDP.
Once a sleepy backwater, Darwin is poised to become a major oil and gas hub for the vast offshore reserves which lie on the continental shelf to its north and west. I was told about the Chief Minister’s recent visit to Aberdeen in Scotland, which has played a similar role in the UK’s North Sea operations since the 1970s. The delegation from NT had been very interested to learn from Aberdeen’s experience. They saw valuable opportunities for British companies with world class strengths in this sector to participate in Darwin’s future development.
I also visited our small consular office in Darwin and met Jeanette Anictomatis, our Honorary Consul. We have honorary consuls in cities where we don’t have full-time offices. They do a great job in helping British citizens who run into difficulties. Quite a few young British backpackers come through NT on their Australian travels, so Jeanette is kept busy.
16 June 2011