Territory Stories

Ecologically sustainable development in the Darwin Harbour Region : review of governance frameworks



Ecologically sustainable development in the Darwin Harbour Region : review of governance frameworks

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Environment Protection Agency.


Environment Protection Agency (Northern Territory); Northern Territory. Department Of Lands, Planning And Environment


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT





Table of contents

Executive summary -- Introduction -- 1. Background -- 1.1 Terms of reference -- 1.2 Scope and structure of the review -- 1.3 Ecologically sustainable development and governance -- 1.4 Ecologically sustainable development, principles and criteria -- 1.5 The Darwin Harbour Region -- 2. Ecologically sustainable development in legislation, policies and plans -- 2.1 Strategic development and management -- 2.2 Land use -- 2.3 Minerals, extractive materials and petroleum -- 2.4 Ports -- 2.5 Pollution, waste and public health -- 2.6 Water -- 2.7 Fisheries and marine areas -- 2.8 Biodiversity, heritage and natural resource management -- 2.9 Environmental assessment -- 3. Discussion and findings -- 4. Advice.




Darwin Harbour -- Environmental aspects; Environmental management -- Northern Territory -- Darwin Harbour

Publisher name

Environment Protection Agency

Place of publication



vii, 59 p. : col. ills. ; 30 cm.

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Copyright owner

Environment Protection Agency



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Page content

vi This is commended. 5. The Darwin Harbour Strategy alone cannot achieve the necessary change required to ensure sustainable decision making for, and management of, the Darwin Harbour region. The development of appropriate legislative and policy measures is for the implementation of the Strategy is necessary. This should be based upon ESD and informed by the vision and principles outlined in the Darwin Harbour Strategy. 6. A coordinated approach to legislative and policy change is recommended to achieve an integrated system for strategic planning, decision making, regulation, management and monitoring for the region, which is based on principles of ESD. A coordinated approach would need to include key agencies with responsibilities in the region such as the Department of Lands and Planning and the Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts. 7. The review undertaken by the EPA has determined that the existing governance frameworks (set out in legislation, policies and plans) do not adequately support the concept and principles of ESD. In summary: The current legislative frameworks do not facilitate the consideration of environmental, economic, social and cultural sustainability factors as part of decision making Existing pieces of legislation do not speak to each other, have the ability to override each other and therefore compete with each other Responsibility for strategic planning and decision making about the Harbour is highly sectoral and therefore the cumulative impacts of decisions are not being considered The current regulatory regime is disparate in its application, its powers and ability to be effective There is a significant lack of consistency in the provisions for public participation and engagement in existing legislation, policies and strategies 8. A number of significant recent environmental pollution incidents in the Darwin Harbour region have demonstrated the degree of public concern about the current and future health of the Harbour. There is public expectation that government will make the changes necessary to put in place robust and effective regulatory frameworks in order to ensure the values of Darwin Harbour are protected for current and future generations. Integration 9. The principle of integration is of critical importance when: Planning for future development in the Darwin Harbour region Making decisions about land allocation and use within the region Regulating competing and potentially polluting land uses within the region Implementing management approaches to protect the regions areas of natural, social and cultural significance