RDA Northern TerritoryCommunity profile

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City of Palmerston LGA

About the profile areas

The 2016 Estimated Resident Population for City of Palmerston LGA is 35,765, with a population density of 6.77 persons per hectare.

Location and boundaries

The City of Palmerston is located in the top end of the Northern Territory, about 20 kilometres south-east of the Darwin CBD. The City of Palmerston is bounded by the Litchfield Council area in the north, east and south, by the East Arm in the west, and Unincorporated Northern Territory in the north-west.

Name origin

Palmerston is named after Lord Palmerston, a British Prime Minister.

Settlement history

Traditionally, indigenous people lived in the area, with some continuing to do so. Residential development of Palmerston dates from 1982 when the City was planned as the main urban growth centre of the wider Darwin region. Suburbs were developed in stages, beginning with Gray and Driver in the early 1980s, followed by Moulden, and then Woodroffe and Marlow Lagoon. Suburbs developed in the 1990s included Bakewell and Rosebery, and then Durack, Farrar and Gunn from the late 1990s. The population of the City more than doubled during the 1990s, increasing from under 8,000 in 1991 to nearly 21,000 in 2001. Rapid growth between 1996 and 1998 was largely a result of defence personnel moving into the area as part of the Army Presence in the North Program (APIN). Growth continued from 2001, although at a slower rate, with the population rising to over 27,000 in 2011. Population growth is expected to continue.

Land use

The City of Palmerston is a rapidly growing residential area, with light industrial areas in the suburbs of Pinelands and Yarrawonga. Palmerston has functioned as a dormitory area for the families of servicemen on defence bases in and around Darwin. The City encompasses a total land area of 56 square kilometres.


The City of Palmerston is served by the Stuart Highway.

Major features

Major features of the City include the Palmerston City Centre, Gateway Shopping Centre, Oasis Shopping Village, Charles Darwin University (Palmerston Campus), Palmerston Golf Course, Marlow Lagoon Recreation Area, Palmerston Swimming & Fitness Centre, Palmerston Recreation Centre and Palmerston Water Park.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the City of Palmerston were the Larrakia Aboriginal people.

Included areas

The City of Palmerston includes the suburbs and localities of Archer, Bakewell, Bellamack, Driver, Durack, Farrar, Gray, Gunn, Johnston, Marlow Lagoon, Mitchell, Moulden, Palmerston City, Pinelands, Rosebery, Woodroffe, Yarrawonga and Zuccoli.