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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37 water supply and wastewater management and is represented by the following principles: Protecting and enhancing natural water systems (harbours, creeks and rivers etc) Treating urban stormwater to meet water quality objectives for reuse and/or discharge to receiving waters (including groundwater) Matching the natural water runoff regime as closely as possible Reducing potable water demand through water efficient fittings and appliances, rainwater harvesting and wastewater reuse Minimising wastewater generation and treatment of wastewater to a standard suitable for effluent reuse opportunities Integrating stormwater management into the landscape, creating multiple use corridors that maximise the visual and recreational amenity of urban development. (WSUD discussion paper). The major goal of the WSUD Strategy for Darwin Harbour is the adoption of WSUD in all new subdivisions in the region. In order to ensure WSUD is an integrated part of the planning and stormwater management process, the strategy must be incorporated within the existing planning and legislative framework. The NT Climate Change Policy also outlines key targets for water management relevant to the Darwin Harbour region. This includes a review of the Water Act to ensure that water resources are proactively managed to respond to climate change impacts and that a framework is developed for better managing water resources under the additional stresses and uncertainties created by climate change. Water pollution can be grouped into two main components point source pollution, or pollution from a single industry such as a sewage treatment plant, and diffuse source pollution, or low level pollution from large areas that is carried by runoff from bare soils, roads, and other areas subject to poor water management. Point source pollution produced by large industries is regulated by waste discharge licences (issued under the Water Act) that set discharge limits, and establish mixing zones and environmental monitoring programs to verify the discharge limits are being met. This occurs on a site by site basis. ESD Ecologically Sustainable Development principles are not explicitly stated in the Water Act apart from where a water management plan is required to allocate water according to an estimated sustainable yield. These principles also do not inform whether a water allocation plan should be prepared, what it should contain or how it should regulate water use. Ecologically sustainable management of the Territorys water resources is therefore at the discretion of: the Controller of Water Resources, in issuing licences the Minister, in declaring water control districts and preparing and water allocation plans