Territory Stories

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

Details:

Title

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

Other title

Environment Protection Agency.

Creator

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

Collection

E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT

Date

2010-09

Notes

Date:2010-09

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.

Language

English

Subject

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

Publisher name

Environment Protection Agency

Place of publication

Palmerston

Format

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

File type

application/pdf

Use

Copyright

Copyright owner

Environment Protection Agency

License

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2019C00042

Parent handle

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/243122

Citation address

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/603823

Page content

35 Findings The Waste Management and Pollution Control (WMPC) Act is inadequate in regulating industrial activities within the harbour. The Act fails to provide for licensing of all significantly risky environmental activities. The offences established under the WMPC Act are difficult to establish, relying on levels of environmental harm as the standard of proof, which in practice have prevented penalties being effectively applied. Specific offences addressing water, air and land pollution are absent from the Act. Additionally, where a substance is leaked into the harbour, the burden of proof lies with the regulator to establish that environmental harm has been caused, rather than upon the offending company/individual to establish that environmental harm was not caused and/ or they did not leak the substance. The Water Act is a key regulatory instrument for Darwin Harbour, operating specifically on a site by site basis, however guided by beneficial use declarations. Where there are not declared beneficial uses under the Water Act a licence to discharge waste water is not required. The role and application of the Marine Pollution Act is limited and inadequate. Its reliance on the standard of environmental harm for establishing an offence under the Act makes a successful prosecution, even where a substance has leaked into the harbour unauthorised, unlikely. The Marine Pollution Act is enforced by the Marine Safety Division of the Department of Lands and Planning, which typically does not have a focus on environmental protection.


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