The 100-year dream of an Alice Springs to Darwin Railway line is now a reality with a weekly Ghan passenger and freight service.
Until the mid-1970s Katherine’s economic base was the pastoral industry.
The Katherine Meat Works has played a major role in the development of the town and the region. However due to the changing dynamics of the live cattle export market out of Darwin the Meatworks closed down in 2001.
Katherine is a regional centre to an area as large as the State of Victoria and is the central provider of many NT Government services for the region including Health, Police, Transport and Works and Primary Industry and Research.
Approximately 25% of the population of Katherine is of Aboriginal descent. A number of Aboriginal organisations play a major role in delivering services to aboriginal people.
The Kalano Association provides housing and services to urban aboriginals as well as
running the Kalano Community Patrol, an Aged Care and a Child Care Facility.
The Jawoyn people are the traditional owners of the Katherine Gorge and the Jawoyn Association is a joint venture in the Management of Nitmiluk National Park. They are also responsible for work and training programs for Aboriginal people.
There are three other major language groups of the Wardaman and Dagoman, Mialli who live in the Katherine area.
Brigalow Farms Pty Ltd, which is situated within the municipal boundary, was established as the biggest dairy in Australia with 2,000 Friesian cows and numerous crops, which were grown for cattle feeding. The Dairy closed in 2001 and has been established as a Live Cattle Export Depot.
The development of the RAAF Base at Tindal (situated approximately 16km south of the town of Katherine) is the northern home for FA-18 jets. Total RAAF population including families in the Katherine area, is currently 2,200 and is expected to increase slightly through varying stages of the development, and the increased potential of the Delamere Bombing Range and the Bradshaw Range.
Mining has played a major role in the Katherine region with a number of mines opening and closing with the changing fortunes of Mining Companies. Mt Todd Gold Mine 45km north of the town has opened and closed a number of times.
While Beef and Mining are still major players in the economy of Katherine tourism has changed the emphasis of the town and has taken over as the number one industry for the area.
Shopping & Facilities
Katherine offers modern shopping facilities all under the one roof.
Major chain stores Woolworth’s, Target Country, Discount Pharmacy, Laubman & Pank and Rockman’s are located in this area. There is a Surf Shop, Newsagency and Cafe to name a few all in air conditioned comfort.
Most of the major banks have offices in Katherine including the Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Bank, Westpac Bank, Bendigo Bank and the Territory Insurance Office (TIO).
Katherine Region Key Facts 2009
Area 336 674 km2
- Katherine Region 16 464 - Katherine town 8 192
- Katherine Region 27 yrs
- Katherine Town 30 yrs
- Katherine Region 8 858 - Katherine Town 5 442 Unemployment rate
- Katherine Region 11.9% (Mar 2008)
- Katherine Town 5.7% (Mar 2008)
Visitor numbers: 283 000
Number of businesses: 690 (06-07)
Mining production value $569M (06-07)
Agriculture production value $40.3M (06-07)
For further details on Katherine Economic Profile and to see the brochure ' At a Glance' click on link At a Glance brochure