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Palmerston Water Tank

Palmerston is a planned satellite city of Darwinmarker, the capital and largest city in Australia's Northern Territorymarker. Palmerston is situated near Darwin Harbour and has a population of 28,030 people (approximately 12% or the territory's population) and making it the second largest city in the territory. Palmerston is currently the fastest growing city in the Northern Territory and has briefly in the past held the title of the fastest growing city in Australia.

There are 18 suburbs all together in Palmerston, 10 of which are close to the Palmerston city centremarker. Palmerston is mostly residential with two light industrial areas in the north of the city.

Like the rest of the Top End, Palmerston has a tropical climate, with a wet season and a dry season. It receives heavy rainfall during the Wet, and is well-known for its spectacular lightning.


Palmerston was the name originally given in 1855 to Darwinmarker by the South Australian Government in remembrance of Lord Palmerston, who became Prime Minister of Britain in 1855. It was renamed Port Darwin in 1911.

The land for a new satellite city of Darwin was acquired in 1971 by the Australian government after concerns of under-supply of residential land in Darwin. The site was selected as the land was adjacent an existing transportation corridors. The decision to proceed with the development was made in 1980 and Palmerston was selected as the name for the new city. Planning and development was managed by the Palmerston Development Authority. Development of Palmerston began during the early 1980s. Suburbs of Palmerston were built in stages. The first suburbs built were Graymarker and Drivermarker, followed by Mouldenmarker, then Woodroffemarker and Marlow Lagoonmarker. The urban area continued to grow throughout the 1990s, with the new suburbs of Bakewellmarker, Roseberymarker and Durackmarker. The population growth of Palmerston continues to be the highest in the Northern Territory. The population has been increasing by almost 8,000 people between 1991 and 2001 to a total of 21,000 people. Palmerston's population growth is expected to continue and reach over 40,000 people in the next 10 - 15 years It was initially anticipated that Palmerston would house 50,000 residents, however current trends show that that actual figure will more likely be lower than 42,000.

Since 1995/1996 the construction commenced on 5 new Palmerston suburbs, Roseberymarker, Bakewellmarker, Durackmarker, Gunnmarker, and Farrarmarker. These were developed in stages with only the final stages of new Palmerston suburbs yet to begin.In 2000 the Palmerston Town Council sought and obtained a change in the name of the municipality to City of Palmerstonmarker.

Palmerston is approximately a 15 minute drive away from the Darwin city centremarker, 15-18 minutes from Darwin's Northern suburbs and 10 - 20 minutes from Howard Springs and the rural area.


The major land-mark in Palmerston is the Power and Water Corporation's water storage tank, which supplies the city with fresh potable water. The City also has a natural escarpment on its eastern side, which has extensive walking paths.


Palmerston is situated between the outer industrial areas of Darwinmarker and the rural areas of Howard Springsmarker. The city is located between the outer industrial areas of Darwinmarker and the rural areas of Howard Springsmarker, 21 kilometres (13 mi) south - east of territories capital Darwinmarker, and is situated in the local government area of the City of Palmerstonmarker.

The urban area of Palmerston extends from the Stuart Highway in the north and in the eastern parts to the Cty of Palmerston borders. The city itself is located in the centre, with the outer rural area proposed for development as the population grows.

Palmerston like Darwin has a tropical climate, with a wet season and a dry season. The city receives heavy rainfall in the wet season, this occurs between December and March. Thunderstorms are common and humidity is regularly over 70 per cent.

Regions and suburbs

The City of Palmerston initially consisted of the Palmerston Town (CBD), Drivermarker and Graymarker. These were followed by Mouldenmarker and Woodroffemarker after development in those areas commenced in 1983. Also included in the City of Palmerstonmarker are the semi-rural suburb of Marlow Lagoonmarker, the suburb of Archermarker and the industrial zones of Yarrawongamarker and Pinelandsmarker.Due to the explosive growth of Palmerston, further developments have occurred leading to the creation of the suburbs of Roseberymarker, Bakewellmarker, Gunnmarker, Durackmarker and more recently Farrarmarker.

The suburbs of Durack and Gunn also have colloquial names as assigned to them by the developers of the area, being "Fairway Waters" (due to the man-made lakes and golf course) and "The Chase" respectively.

Future areas of land for expansion are the proposed suburbs of Archermarker, Bellamackmarker, Johnston, Zuccoli and Mitchellmarker and are located on the south-east side of the existing city. These plots of expansion are expected to allow an increase of up to 14,000 additional residents in the city of Palmerston, with the first land release beginning in Bakewellmarker in 2009.


Palmerston has a tropical climate like Darwin with distinct wet and dry seasons. The dry season runs from May to September. In the coolest months of June and July, daily temperature range is 19 to 30°C. The Wet season is associated with tropical cyclones and monsoon rains. The majority of rainfall occurs between December and March when thunderstorms are common and humidity is regularly over 70 per cent.

Source: Averages for Darwin Airport, 1941 - 2007, Bureau of Meteorology
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Notes: Temperatures are in degrees Celsius. Precipitation is in millimetres. Darwin Airport Latitude: -12.42° S Longitude: 130.89° E Elevation: 30 m ASL


Population by year
1986 5,706
1991 7,804
1996 12,750
2001 20,788
2006 23,614
2011 34,944
2021 > 42,020 (Projected)

As of the 2006 Census, there were 23,614 people residing in 9,000 households. The median age of persons in Palmerston was 28 years. 18.9% of the population of Palmerston were children aged between 5-14 years, and 47.1% were persons aged 25-54 years. 74.8 per cent of Palmerston's population are Australian born, with the biggest overseas birthplaces were, English (692 or 2.9 per cent), New Zealandmarker (437 or 1.9 per cent), Philippinesmarker (278 or 1.2 per cent), Papua New Guineamarker (144 or 0.6 per cent) and East Timormarker (116 or 0.5 per cent).

The 2006 Census found the most common religious affiliations in Palmerston had No Religion (6,106 or 25.9 per cent), Catholicism (5,263 or 22.3 per cent), Anglican (3,561 or 15.1 per cent), Uniting Church (1,205 or 5.1 per cent) and Presbyterian and Reformed (419 or 1.8 per cent).

Palmerston’s population represents one quarter of the combined Palmerston-Darwin total population, and represents 11.7% of the Territory’s population.

Population growth

Palmerston along with Darwinmarker is one of the fastest growing cities in the Northern Territorymarker and in Australia. Palmerston recorded the fastest increase of population of all the Local Government Areas in the Northern Territorymarker. Palmerston increased by 1,300 people growing by 5 per cent. The fastest growths occurred within Palmerston which includes the suburbs of Farrarmarker Roseberymarker, Marlow Lagoonmarker and Gunnmarker and Palmerston Citymarker. By 2016 the population of Palmerston will be more than half the size of Darwinmarker's population, and the combined Palmerston-Litchfieldmarker population will be just 2 000 less than the City of Darwinmarker.


Palmerston Council Chambers
The Palmerston region is covered by the Local Government Area of the City of Palmerstonmarker. The council was created in 1985. The council chambers are located in the Palmerston City Centre.

The Palmerston City Councilmarker (Incorporated under the Northern Territory Local Government Act 1993) governs the City of Palmerstonmarker which takes in the CBD and the suburbs. The City of Palmerstonmarker has governed Palmerston since 1985. The Palmerston City Council consists of 8 elected members, the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor and six aldermen. The city is not divided into wards, thus each alderman represents constituents from the entire city. The current mayor of Palmerston is Robert Macleod. He was appointed Mayor in May 2007 following the retirement of Annette Burke.

In territory politics, Palmerston is located in the Legislative Assemblymarker districts of Blain, Brennan, Drysdale, Nelson with two seats held by the Australian Labor Party, one by the Country Liberal Party and one by the Independents.

In federal politics, Palmerston is located in one House of Representatives division shared with Darwinmarker - the Division of Solomon.


Palmerston has around 12,945 people in the labour force. The unemployment rate in the city was 2.3 per cent which was well below the Northern Territorymarker average of 4.3 per cent.

The largest industry employers in Palmerston are public administration & safety (2,751 or 21.3 per cent), retail trade (1,190 or 9.2 per cent), construction (892 or 6.9 per cent, health care & social assistance (829 or 6.4 per cent) and education & training (825 or 6.4 per cent). The total numbers of businesses in Palmerston was 1,410. Of these, 57% of businesses were categorised as non employing.

Palmerston has continued growth in median house prices, with an increase of 5.3% for the year to March 2008. The median house and unit prices in Palmerston were $395,000 and $300,000. The vacancy rate in Palmerston was 0.9% compared with 0.5% for Darwin. Palmerston has provided around a half of the vacant land sales in the Northern Territorymarker.
Palmerston Shopping Centre
Palmerston has two major shopping centres including Palmerston Shopping Centre and Palm City Oasis. The Palmerston Shopping Centre contains over 69 businesses including a Coles Supermarket, and the discount department - store Target. Palm City Oasis contains a Woolworths supermarket and 18 businesses. Some Palmerston suburbs contains smaller shopping centres


Palmerston library by night.
The Palmerston markets can be seen in the foreground.

Preschool, primary and secondary

Palmerston is served by eight primary schools and two secondary schools and three non - government schools. There are over 4,234 primary and secondary students enrolled in Palmerston with 2,942 students attending primary education and 1,292 students attending secondary education. There are over 3,100 students enrolled in government schools in Palmerston, 509 students enrolled in Catholic schools and 625 students enrolled in independent schools. The Northern Territory Government announced in its 2008 Budget that two new schools a primary and middle schools will be built in the Palmerston suburb of Roseberymarker which will cater for up to 1,450 students and will cost $48.8million. Following the construction of the two new schools in Roseberymarker an additional primary schools will be built in Palmerston East, which will include the planned suburb of Zuccoli.

Tertiary and vocational

The Charles Darwin University Palmerston campus is located in the suburb of Durackmarker. The campus hosts the School of Tourism and Hospitality as well as expanding into a mini-School of Conservation and Land Management. There are over 4,318 students enrolled in tertiary and further education courses. 247 of Palmerston residents were enrolled in higher education at Charles Darwin University and 4,071 students enrolled in vocational education and training.

Sport and recreation

Palmerston is home to the Palmerston Football Club (known as the "Magpies") Northern Territory Football League and is based out of the Archer Sporting Complex. Palmerston has a strong presence in Australian rules football. The Archer Sporting Complex has an Australian rules football field, a senior Softball diamond and senior Baseball diamond. There are also a number of sporting clubs located at the complex. The complex home to the, Palmerston and Rural Baseball Club, the Palmerston Pirates Softball team, and the Palmerston Raiders Rugby League team.

Palmerston has one football team, the Palmerston SC which plays in the Northern Zone League.

The city has a "skate park" located on University Avenue that is funded by the Palmerston City Council. This park allows locals to perform Skateboarding as well as other related sports, including Inline Skating.There is a local near-Olympic size swimming pool with a gymnasium.

There is also a boat ramp allowing access to the Elizabeth River for small trailable marine craft. Persons utilising the area are cautioned that both Box jellyfish and crocodiles are present in the river.

A branch of the YWCA is located at the CBD.

The Palmerston Scouts are located on University Avenue, adjacent to the Palmerston branch of the RSL.

Palmerston is well served by its many park reserves. Some parks also offer coin-operated public barbecue facilities.


A local free tabloid news paper called the Palmerston Sun is published weekly by News Corporation.The Northern Territory News tabloid published daily by News Corporation is also widely available in Palmerston. There is also the Sunday edition of the Northern Territory News The Sunday Territorian also published by News Corporation.Most large state-wide and interstate newspapers are also available from local retailers, albeit with a delay in arrival.

Palmerston also receives Radio and television services sourced from transmitters located in the Darwinmarker region. Which include the three commercial channels Southern Cross Darwinmarker, Channel Nine Darwinmarker and Darwin Digital Televisionmarker and the two Government owned channels ABCmarker and SBS Television. Pay TV is also available through both satellite and fixed cable from the encumbant provider, Austar.

Palmerston receives most Radio stations from Darwinmarker. Which include ABC Local Radio (105.7FM), Radio National (657AM), ABC Classic FM (107.3FM) and Triple J (103.3FM).



Palmerston does not have a public hospital but many of Palmerston's health needs are serviced by the Palmerston Health Precinct which includes the Palmerston Community Care Centre, public dental service, St Johns' Ambulance, Medical Specialists Clinic and the Farrar Medical Centre. There are seven general practices in the Palmerston health region, four of which provide after-hours services.

Palmerston Bus Interchange.


The city has a network of approximately 32 km of bicycle paths, most of which are lit for night-time usage.

There is also a public bus service operated by Darwinbus that offers transportation around Palmerston, into Darwinmarker City and out to Darwinmarker's Northern Suburbs.

The Darwinmarker City Airport is the closest air terminal, being serviced by both Qantas, Jetstar, Airnorth, Garuda Indonesia and Virgin Blue, with daily flights to and from all major cities in Queenslandmarker, New South Walesmarker, Western Australiamarker, South Australiamarker, Victoriamarker, and the Northern Territorymarker. There are no direct flights to Tasmaniamarker or the Australian Capital Territorymarker at the current stage. There are also direct flights to East Timormarker, Indonesiamarker, Singaporemarker and Vietnammarker. The airport is located in the Darwinmarker suburb of Marrara, approximately 20 minutes away from Palmerston.

Darwinmarker based taxi are also available in Palmerston, as well as a number of local and Darwinmarker based mini-bus operators.


Channel Island Power Station
Water storage, supply and Power for Palmerston is managed by Power and Water Corporation, which is owned by the Government of the Northern Territory. The corporation is also responsible for management of sewerage and the major water catchments in the region. Water is mainly stored in the largest dam, The Darwin River Dam which holds up to 90% of Palmerston's water supply. For many years, Palmerston principal water supply came from Manton Dam.

Palmerston and its suburbs are powered by the Channel Island Power Station. The largest power plant in the Northern Territorymarker.


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