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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v 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. Advice The following advice is provided in respect to the key aim of this report: To investigate whether existing governance frameworks (set out in legislation, policies and plans) are adequate to support ecologically sustainable development in the Darwin Harbour Region, with specific focus on the Darwin Harbour Strategy, launched in June 2010 by the Darwin Harbour Advisory Committee. The advice provides recommendations under three four headings: Ecologically Sustainable Development; Darwin Harbour Region; Integration; and Broader Implications. Ecologically Sustainable Development 1. The EPA has previously advised on the importance of the concept of ESD and its principles being central to sustained economic growth and development that protects its environment and ensures the wellbeing of all members of its community. The EPA recommended that the Northern Territory Government develop and implement governance mechanisms for the application of ESD in the Northern Territory. 2. Upholding the current economic, natural and social values of Darwin Harbour is dependent upon governance frameworks (set out in legislation, policies and plans) that are informed by the principles of ESD and accordingly promote the sustainable development of Darwin Harbour. There is currently no legislative mechanism that provides the necessary overarching ESD governance framework. Darwin Harbour Region 3. The Darwin Harbour Strategy (the Strategy) provides an effective basis for bestpractice decision-making it articulates a common vision, principles and goals for the Darwin Harbour region. One of its founding principles is for sustainable development to be realised within the region. In doing so, the Strategy attempts to align applicable legislation, decision making and strategic planning. It also promotes public participation. It is currently the one document for Darwin Harbour that aims to achieve integration across government and various interest groups, recognising the above governance elements. 4. The Northern Territory Government has endorsed the Strategy and in doing so has committed to: Annual reporting by its agencies against the strategy Establishing and supporting an Integrated Monitoring Plan for the Harbour