Northern Australia has changed rapidly over the past 10 to 20 years with its regional economies becoming increasingly internationally connected. There have been many gains to the Australian economy through the development and investment opportunities which have presented themselves in this dynamic region of Australia. This includes the development of rich energy and mineral resources, the development of pastoral and agricultural industries, growth in tourism expenditure and investment in strategic transport and communications infrastructure. Along with these development gains, the region faces a number of challenges or ‘growing pains’. Can the prosperity of Northern Australia be sustained as we enter a global recession and longer term pressures emerge?