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

i Executive Summary The Darwin Harbour region is a jewel in the Territorys crown, developmentally, economically, recreationally, environmentally. It is appropriate for the EPA to consider and examine this precious resource from the perspective of ecologically sustainable development (ESD) to guide future decision-making for Darwin Harbour. Protecting the environment of the Darwin Harbour region requires a strong foundation of good governance based on the principles of ecologically sustainable development. These principles recognise that our economic and social progress depends on the basic services provided by a healthy environment. The aim of this report is to investigate whether existing governance frameworks (set out in legislation, policies and plans) are adequate to support ESD in the region. ESD provides an internationally recognised framework for integrating sectoral activities and development planning processes. Governance frameworks underpinned by ESD principles ensure decisions are based upon the most appropriate and accurate information available, are made in a transparent and accountable way, and consider and weigh up environmental, economic, social and cultural factors. A specific focus of the terms of reference for the review was the Darwin Harbour Strategy launched in June 2010 by the Darwin Harbour Advisory Committee (previously referred to as Draft Darwin Harbour Regional Management Strategic Framework 20092013). The terms of reference for the review were to: Examine the existing governance frameworks for promoting ESD in the Darwin Harbour region Determine if and where ESD is defined in legislation, policies and plans applying to the region Identify the key government agencies and regulatory bodies with responsibilities for the region Identify processes for promoting integration in planning, decision-making and environmental management Examine provisions for community input and public participation Provide advice to the government and community of the Northern Territory on the adequacy of existing systems and processes. This review is intended to provide the basis for further discussion with government and the community by presenting an analysis of the existing key policies and legislation that currently apply to decision making for Darwin Harbour and the ways in which these are informed by and reflect the principles of ESD. It is intended as a first step, the beginning of a conversation towards putting in place the governance measures necessary to support the Darwin Harbour Strategy in its vision for best-practice planning and decision making for ESD in the Darwin Harbour region. The EPA provides the following advice towards that goal.