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

Other title

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.

File type




Copyright owner

Environment Protection Agency



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Page content

vii Undertaking monitoring in the Darwin Harbour region 10. An integrated approach ensures that each of the above governance elements for Darwin Harbour inform and enhance each other for the greater good of the region. Broader Implications 11. While this review has focused on the Darwin Harbour region the EPA considers that a number of its findings are relevant beyond the region, specifically: The significance of the relationship of the Mining Act and Mining Management Act with the Planning Act, the Environmental Assessment Act, the Water Act, the Waste Management and Pollution Control Act, and Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act. This information is considered relevant to the current government initiative of harmonisation The lack of appropriate governance mechanisms to ensure the findings of the EIA process are informing subsequent decisions about development. This was highlighted in the EPAs report Improving Environmental Assessment in the Northern Territory and is recognised by the EPA as an issue in its current investigation of the copper concentrate spill at East Arm Wharf Important short-comings in the Waste Management and Pollution Control Act, specifically its limited licensing regime and the current difficulty of establishing an offence under the Act. This is relevant to the current review of the Waste Management and Pollution Control Act A lack of effective integration between key environment protection frameworks, such as the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act, and important development approval frameworks, such as the Planning Act, which results in key decisions, such as land allocation, being made without adequate reference to biodiversity and water protection objectives Establishing effective governance frameworks requires the incorporation of ESD principles in overarching legislation, policies and plans. This includes ensuring that ESD is defined in these frameworks and appropriately applied as part of decision-making The absence of effective ESD provisions limits the capacity of current governance frameworks to promote sustainability outcomes in the Darwin Harbour region and across the Territory more broadly.