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

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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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42 The abundance of mosquitoes and other biting insects in these areas has also typically created demand for clearing or control of these environments. This pressure has not been addressed within the planning framework. The Planning Act and the Planning Scheme do not address fisheries issues or the potential for significant conflict between these two land uses which could be resolved, for example, by segregating residential areas and sensitive marine environments Public Participation There is a lack of public participation under the Fisheries Act in regards to the selection and declaration of a FMA. Public participation is not invited when the area is being proposed or declared and notice of such declaration only occurs at the discretion of the Minister once it is finalised. The Minister can also decide whether or not to invite public involvement in the drafting of plans of management for a FMA. Other Critical Issues for ESD While there is potential for no-take zones to be established under the Fisheries Act through the use of the FMA mechanism, there is no provision in any of the relevant marine legislation for the establishment of marine parks or protected marine areas. This is a significant obstacle to the conservation of biological diversity. It is understood that the Territory Government is currently considering the possibility for marine parks to be established under amendments to existing legislation. The EPA encourages the adoption of ESD principles as a solid foundation for the legal establishment of these parks. Findings The Fisheries Act, while referring to ESD, does not reflect these principles or require them as a consideration in decision-making under the Act. Specifically, there is a lack of public participation in the nomination and declaration of Fisheries Management Areas, and an absence of a marine park protected area mechanism. There is poor integration between the Fisheries Act and the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act, resulting in a failure to protect fish species as threatened under the legislation, and reliance on protection and management measures for threatened species under the TPWC Act, which (unlike the Fisheries Act) does not refer to ESD.