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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39 planning in the region have led to an assessment of social and cultural values and environmental flow requirements16. Community engagement in water planning is enabled through the creation of Water Advisory Committees (WACs), which in the case of the Darwin Harbour region include the Darwin Harbour Advisory Committee and the Rapid Creek Catchment Water Advisory Committee. Water Advisory Committees are not mandatory and outside this process, the community does not have any statutory ability to be involved in water planning. Findings The Water Act is not informed by the principles of ESD. Planning for the sustainable use and management of water resources is discretionary and dependent upon the good practice of NRETAS. The Water Act framework fails to integrate with other key elements within the water sector or with other relevant external sectors such as parks and reserve management, urban planning and mine management. The regulatory component of the Water Act operates on a site by site basis (licensing specific discharge points) and is therefore limited in its ability to consider the cumulative impact of various land uses on the water quality of Darwin Harbour. 16 Woodward et al 2008

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