Explanation of terms

Agriculture, forestry and fishing

The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector is a significant employer and source of economic activity in regional and remote areas. It also has important linkages to other industries of the economy, including retail and wholesale trade, manufacturing and transport. The sector’s output can vary significantly from year to year due to changes in demand (including trade restrictions), seasonal conditions affecting production, and impacts of pest and disease incursions.


Analysis of construction activity and work done is based on monthly and quarterly data reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics through a number of data releases including engineering construction activity, building activity, building approvals and construction work done. The sector’s gross value added is measured annually and reported in Australian Bureau of Statistics state accounts data. Sector contributions to employment are based on quarterly Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force statistics.

Conventional gas

Conventional gas is found in geological formations which permits the gas to freely migrate below the surface and move to the surface when intercepted by a well.


Defence is not reported as a separate industry in the national accounts, rather it is reported against several industries, predominantly public administration and safety. Australian Bureau of Statistics does not report defence employment numbers. References to defence refer to both the Department of Defence and the Australian Defence Force. The Department of Defence and Defence Housing Australia annual reports are the sources of data.

Engineering construction

Construction work that does not have a roof.

Government and community services

The government and community services sector consists of public administration and safety; education and training; and health care and social assistance.

These services are mainly funded by the public sector, including the Commonwealth, Territory and local governments. However, non-government and private entities may also provide education, health, aged care and other community services as well as defence.

Mining and manufacturing

Mining and manufacturing activities in the Territory include mining of metal ores, oil and gas production, and quarrying, as well as the manufacture of fabricated metal, transport equipment and repair, and helium for domestic and overseas markets. The Territory’s mining industry data also includes offshore oil and gas production in Territory waters.

Non-residential building

Buildings intended for purposes other than long‑term residence.

Residential building

Buildings primarily used for the purpose of long‑term residence.

Retail trade and wholesale trade

Retail trade captures the sale of goods in stores and online to predominantly households for personal consumption. Domestic online sales are attributed to the state in which the online retailer is based. This means, due to the relatively low number of Territory-based online retailers, published retail trade data does not provide a complete representation of the level of spending on retail goods by Territorians. Retail turnover data does not include purchases made directly from an overseas website.

Wholesale trade is the sale of new or used goods to businesses and institutional users. Wholesale trade is generally a smaller component of Territory gross state product than retail trade and a much smaller share of employment.

Service industries

The service industries sector covers a broad range of industries and makes up a significant proportion of gross state product and employment. The service industries are: professional, scientific and technical services; transport, postal and warehousing; accommodation and food services; financial and insurance services; administrative and support services; electricity, gas, water and waste services; rental, hiring and real estate services; arts and recreation services; information and media telecommunications; and other services.


Tourism differs from other industries as it is defined by consumers’ behaviour rather than the process of producing goods and services. Accordingly, standard Australian Bureau of Statistics measures of production in the national accounts are not available for tourism. Rather, tourism’s contribution to the Territory economy is captured in a range of industries, including accommodation and food services, retail trade, culture and recreation, and transport. Tourism is sensitive to factors such as global and local economic conditions, exchange rates, tourism marketing activity, aviation access, changing consumer behaviour, visa regulations and competition amongst destinations.

Unconventional gas

Unconventional gas is found in geological formations which limits its ability to freely migrate below the surface and move to the surface when intercepted by a well. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are often necessary for economic gas extraction.