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.

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Copyright owner

Environment Protection Agency



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16 Land Use Frameworks The Territory has no single overarching framework which seeks to allocate Crown Land for use in an ecologically sustainable manner. Instead, a number of sectoral frameworks provide for allocation of land which is then managed to the extent that it is not inconsistent with the purpose for which it was allocated. The primary frameworks for land use allocation and management in the Northern Territory, and that apply to the Darwin Harbour region, include: The Mining Act, which grants mineral tenures than regulates the mining through the Mining Management Act The Planning Act, which enables Crown Land to be alienated by the Department for Lands and Planning for urban uses in line with its strategic and town planning functions The Pastoral Land Act, which enables the Pastoral Lands Board to grant rights to the use of land for pastoral purposes The Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Act, under which the Administrator, on the recommendation of the Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory, may declare a park or reserve over any land, including Crown Land, primarily for conservation purposes A number of Northern Territory Government statutory corporations including the Land Development Corporation, Power and Water Corporation and the Darwin Port Corporation, which may also allocate land for use Special purpose legislation, which may be used to provide for the allocation and use of land for specific major projects The Aboriginal Land Rights Act (Cmth), which enables the Commonwealth Minister for Indigenous Affairs to grant land as communal freehold title to Aboriginal Traditional Owners that may establish a claim for vacant Crown Land outside of a Town.12 There is considerable difference between these frameworks in regard to the powers they establish to allocate and manage land and the extent to which they promote the achievement of ESD in the Darwin Harbour region. Each of these frameworks is discussed in further detail below. Planning Act Planning and land development in the Northern Territory is the responsibility of the Department of Lands and Planning (DLP). The Development Consent Authority (DCA), established under the Planning Act, is a division of the DLP whose function is to assess and determine development applications. The primary object of the Planning Act is to provide a framework of controls for the orderly use and development of land. Further objects established by the Act include the strategic planning of land use and development for the sustainable use of resources, the strategic planning of transport corridors, the establishment of effective controls and guidelines for the appropriate use of land, and the control of 12 Aboriginal Land Rights Act (Cmth)