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

54 sustainability of land use. The disparate nature of strategic planning for the Darwin Harbour region makes this even more difficult. The Darwin Harbour Advisory Committee, a largely community based group, has articulated a vision for the sustainable management of Darwin Harbour and set out a number of supporting goals: Goal 1: To maintain a healthy environment Goal 2: To support recreational use and enjoyment of the environment Goal 3: To ensure that development is implemented in an ecologically sustainable manner Goal 4: To protect cultural values and heritage Goal 5: To foster community awareness, industry partnerships and stewardship of the Darwin Harbour region. Without formal processes that enable the public to assess strategic planning options for the Darwin Harbour region, it will be difficult for the community to ensure that ESD goals, such as those articulated in the Darwin Harbour Strategy, are effectively informing strategic planning in the region. The key pieces of legislation that apply to land allocation, use and management within the Darwin Harbour region vary substantially in the provisions they establish for public participation and transparency in decision-making. Similarly, various approaches have been applied in relation to the involvement of the public in key planning, strategy and management documents. As a result, public consultation and engagement may be undertaken as a merely symbolic gesture without allowing for meaningful input to decision-making. The lack of consistency in approach across legislative regimes and sectors significantly reduces public accountability and places increasing pressure on those regimes that do provide for public participation to become the fix-all forum for community concerns and issues.