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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Citation address


Page content

1 Introduction 1 Background The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) was established in March 2008 under the Environment Protection Authority Act. Its function is to provide independent advice and recommendations to the Northern Territory Government, businesses and the community about ecologically sustainable development (ESD). The Darwin Harbour region is a key focus for heavy debate on ESD in the Northern Territory. The region is destined to be the focus of future growth and development and is subject to demands from a range of different sources. For the purposes of this review the Darwin Harbour region is understood broadly to include the land and catchment areas of the region, as well as the feature of the harbour itself. Darwin is recognised as one of the last remaining places in the world where a large natural harbour environment still exists next to a major urban settlement. It contains one of the largest intact areas of mangroves in Australia, is recognised as a site of international conservation significance and has strong cultural meaning for the Larrakia people and the residents of the wider Darwin region. In April 2009 the EPA initiated an investigation into how future development of Darwin Harbour can be guided by the principles of ESD- with specific reference to the Draft Darwin Harbour Regional Management Strategic Framework developed by the Darwin Harbour Advisory Committee (DHAC).1 This document has recently been finalised and publicly released as the Darwin Harbour Strategy. 1.1 Terms of Reference The aim of this investigation is: To investigate whether existing governance frameworks (set out in legislation, policies and plans) are adequate to support ecologically sustainable development of Darwin Harbour, with specific focus on the Darwin Harbour Strategy. The terms of reference for this investigation were: 1) Determine if and where ecologically sustainable development is defined in legislation, policies and plans that apply to Darwin Harbour for the purposes of informing: the future vision for Darwin Harbour; decisions made on the development and use of Darwin Harbour; and environmental management and monitoring of the harbour. 2) Examine the existing provisions and mechanisms which allow for community input and engagement to both define and achieve the sustainable development of Darwin Harbour. 3) Map the existing governance frameworks that apply to Darwin Harbour that regulate and/or guide decisions made about the development and continued use, management and monitoring of Darwin Harbour, in order to critically 1 Darwin Harbour Advisory Committee 2009