The agriculture sector in northern Australia is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and climate variability. Climate change risks for future agricultural development include higher atmospheric temperature, increased rainfall variability and an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events such as floods, droughts, heatwaves and fires. An uncertain future climate can affect agricultural production, efficient resource use and sustainable livelihoods. A balance needs to be achieved between resource use and livelihood security for sustainable agricultural development amid stressors such as climate change. This paper examines sustainable agricultural development in northern Australia using the environmental livelihood framework, a new approach that explores the relationships between water, energy and food resources and the livelihoods they sustain. The study shows that developments in the renewable energy sector, water infrastructure sector and advances in research and development for climate resilient infrastructure and climate resilient species are likely to improve agricultural production in northern Australia. Measures to attract and retain agricultural workforce is also key to maintaining a sustainable agricultural workforce in northern Australia. Adequate monitoring and evaluation of agricultural investments is important as future climatic impacts remain uncertain.