CROC INDUSTRY WORTH MORE THAN $100M TO AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY

CROC INDUSTRY WORTH MORE THAN $100M TO AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY

CROCODILE farming is big business in Australia's top end, with the industry contributing over $100 million to the Northern Territory economy.

The overall value of the industry in 2014/15 to the tourism, farming, and veterinary sectors was $107 million, and created 264 full-time jobs, according to an Ernst and Young report.

These new figures are over four times the previous valuations of $25 million.

NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner says he is not surprised at the monetary value of the crocodile farming industry.

"We know that our beloved crocodiles are a massive tourism magnet to the territory, but now we also know just how much the farming industry plays in terms of their economic impact and potential," says Gunner.

The Ernst and Young valuation will assist in gaining support from the federal government to boost exports.

The industry is important to remote Indigenous communities too, according to Gunner.

"Saltwater crocodiles have enormous economic potential in terms of income, employment, technology innovation, and economic development in remove Aboriginal communities," says Gunner.

Two-thirds of Australia's crocodile trade comes from the Northern Territory, and Australia accounts for around 60 per cent of the global trade in saltwater crocodile skins.

Gunner says the skin of the NT's saltwater crocodiles is the best in the world.

"Let's take pride in this, the Territory crocodile is the number-one valued skin," says Gunner.

Luxury fashion labels like Hermes and Louis Vuitton buy crocodile skins from NT farms, such as the Darwin Crocodile Farm.

Gunner says the NT has a competitive advantage over international farmers thanks to local knowledge.

"We've got a competitive advantage because others do want the Territory croc and they're trying to do their own farms, but there's lots of corporate knowledge in the Territory about how to work with crocodiles," says Gunner.

Business News Australia

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