Abstract: This project arose from the recognition of the importance of a longitudinal analysis of how factors in the social, physical and health service environment are related to the health status of, and to the health risk and health protective factors for, Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory. Early discussion on the development of this project included the suggestion that a retrospective longitudinal analysis may be useful. However, it rapidly became clear that the availability and quality of existing data would place serious limitations on the value of such an analysis. It was also apparent that a focus on opportunities for, and barriers to, the development of a prospective database would have much greater value, particularly in the long term — hence the focus of this discussion paper. This paper summarises the benefits and feasibility of a longitudinal database of socio-economic, environmental and health indicators at the regional and community level within the NT: a Longitudinal Indicators Database (LID). Such a statistical resource would facilitate both the monitoring of trends over time and access to regularly updated data to support applied research and inform policy makers and service providers.