Environment Protection Bill Open For Comment

The long-awaited draft Environment Protection Act has been released for public comment. This is a major piece of legislation that provides the foundation for environmental governance in the Northern Territory. It is a comprehensive Bill that outlines a renewed direction for environmental protection and assessment. The Bill is also accompanied by a set of regulations that complement the administration of the Act.

This is a result of many years of advocacy, so it is heartening to see concrete reform. The Bill and Regulations have been published online and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources are seeking public comment.

‘The Northern Territory Government is overhauling the current environmental regulatory system. Reforms are critical to achieving a robust regulatory system that the community will trust while encouraging industry investment and economic growth. Its ultimate goal is to deliver sustainable development in the Northern Territory.’

ALEC will be developing a framework for a general submission once we complete our initial review of the laws.

The laws can be found here:

https://denr.nt.gov.au/environment-information/environmental-regulatory-reform/consultation-on-new-environment-protection-legislation

You can make a submission by emailing your comments to environment.policy@nt.gov.au before 3 December 2018.

For more information visit:

Strategic Management Plan for the Great Artesian Basin released for public comment

The Commonwealth Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has developed a draft strategic management plan for the Great Artesian Basin. This plan is a principle-based approach to management across all of the jurisdictions that cover the basin with a view to coordinating information, management priorities, objectives and ultimately preserving the health of the resource. The Northern Territory overlays a significant portion of the Basin over the Simpson desert. While there are currently no critical threats to this portion that lack of an overall water balance and growing mining developments are risks to the health of ecosystems dependent on the Basin.

The draft plan can be found here:

https://haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au/great-artesian-basin

ALEC will be making a submission on the draft plan that outlines suggestions for improved collaboration in knowledge sharing and management priorities. The plan should also include provisions that prohibit industrial development that poses an unacceptable risk to groundwater resources; specifically potential fossil fuel development in the Pedirka Basin which is acknowledged as a threat to springs of national significance.  

Review of the RoadMAP to a deserSMART Town 2013-2018

ALEC is currently undertaking a review of the RoadMap to a desertSMART town 2013-2018 by evaluating the progress made on top actions across all sectors of the economy and environment. This review will be conducted through community surveys and stakeholder interviews. If anyone has experience with the RoadMap we would love to hear from you. Please contact policy@alec.org.au if you would like to be involved in the review. The RoadMap can be found at https://www.alec.org.au/roadmap_to_a_desertsmart_town

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