The Northern Territory in the defence of Australia : geography, history, economy, infrastructure and defence presence

Author/s (editor/s):

Desmond Ball, John Chappell, Peter Donovan, J.O. Langtry, Ciaran O'Faircheallaigh, Deborah Wade-Marshall

Publication year:


Publication type:

Policy paper

Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence No. 63

Northern Australia has become the primary focus of Australian defence planning. It is the area in which low-level contingencies are most likely to occur, and it is the direction through which higher threats are most likely to come.

The Review of Australia's Defence Capabilities by Paul Dibb, the 1987 White Paper on the Defence of Australia, and Excercise Kangaroo 89 each identified the need for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Australian defence planners to increase their familiarity with northern Australia.

The purpose of this volume is to contribute to a better understanding of the Northern Territory from a defence perspective. It describes the geography of the Northern Territory, the history of European settlement, the development of infrastructure, the economy, and the present deployments and capabilities of the Department of Defence and the ADF in the Northern Territory.

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