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

27 2.4 Ports Ports Over the past decade, Darwin Harbour has been established as a major transport hub for northern Australia. Wharf and port facilities have been developed at a number of locations, most notably East Arm Wharf. This established use is expected to increase, placing growing pressure on environmental values and presenting possibly the greatest environmental threats to Darwin Harbour. Legislation The main legislation regulating the use of port facilities is the Darwin Port Corporation Act and Port By-Laws. Darwin Port Corporation (DPC) is primarily responsible for the regulation, improvement, management, operation and control of and the promotion of trade utilising the port (Section 16). Under the Act, DPC is obliged to carry out its functions in a commercial manner and, while established under the public sector, operates as an independent private entity. The legislation outlines the various functions of the DPC, including regulation of companies and vessels utilising the port facilities, and management and upgrading or maintenance of the facilities for trade purposes. A number of offences are prescribed under the Port By-Laws for various types of pollution in declared port areas. Both pieces of legislation require shipowners to pay remediation costs where water pollution occurs at the port. The Darwin Port (Handling and Transport of Dangerous Cargoes) By-Laws adopt Australian Standard 3846-1998 and impose strict controls on the DPC to ensure that dangerous cargoes are handled safely within the port and are moved out of the port area promptly. Dangerous cargoes are defined as those that may present a safety hazard to people or the marine environment. ESD None of the legislation discussed above refers to ESD or any of the associated principles. The Darwin Port Corporation acts as a commercial body, subject to the