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Between the Centre and the periphery : the development of port trade in Darwin, Australia
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Jiaping Wu
Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory, is a port city located in Australia’s Top End and facing Southeast Asia. The distance from Darwin to Australia’s main economic centres of Sydney and Melbourne is almost the same as to Singapore. This central geographical location has inspired the development of the Port and the City of Darwin from time to time while being held back by its remoteness, and especially the lack of an efficient railway link to Australia’s major southern centres. The Port of Darwin has been redeveloped with the vision of repositioning the City of Darwin as Australia’s gateway to Asia which it was expected to achieve with the completion of the transcontinental railwaylink from Adelaide to Darwin. This paper analyses trade and cargo movements for the Port of Darwin between 2000 and 2009 - 5 years for each period before and after the availability of intermodal transport - and examines the processes by which transformation of the gateway is actually occurring. The evidence to date, however, suggests that the landbridge development has had little material effect in terms of trans-shipments and throughputs for the Port of Darwin. The volume of container trade and interstate export and import cargo that passes through the port has in fact declined since the availability of the transcontinental railway in 2005.