Beautiful Darwin Harbour is an area loved by Territorians. Experiencing the Harbour is an integral part of what it means to live in the Top End. The Larrakia people have cared for the harbour for millennia and continue to do so today with a busy ranger team working tirelessly to keep it in good shape.The Harbour is vast and vibrant, at 50km long with three large arms that are swept daily by racing eight metre tides. The shoreline is bustling with the most diverse mangrove forest in the North, supporting a resilient Mud crab and Barramundi Fishery. Beneath the waves, seagrass meadows support herds of dugongs and coral reefs host schools of Golden Snapper and monstrous Mulloway.
The harbour is a key part of the Territory economy as it is the most visited recreational fishing area and hosts many fishing tours, sunset cruises, and sailing regattas. Most of the Territory’s aquaculture industry relies on a healthy Darwin Harbour as it supports hatcheries for Rock Oysters, Sea Cucumbers, Giant Clams, Prawns, and the Pearling Industry.
We have seen significant changes to the Harbour over the past twenty years, mainly from the construction of two big LNG plants and the development of East Arm wharf. Environmental impacts such as air and water pollution, dredging and huge increases in shipping traffic have eaten away at the harbour’s ecology.
But even greater change is brewing. Big plans are being drawn up right now that will more than double the amount of industrial development in the harbour. The NT Government is pushing ahead to create the Middle Arm 'Sustainable Development Precinct', which is also described as a heavy industries hub with gas as a feedstock. Soon, Territorians will get to have a say in the Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Darwin Harbour and it will be vital to add your voice in calling for pollution free development.
If we get the process right, we can ensure that development at Darwin Harbour is non-polluting, sustainable, and safeguard the air and water quality for future generations. The alternative is the vision being touted by the Morrison Government and the gas industry: a multi-billion-dollar petrochemicals hub at Middle Arm, producing ammonium, methanol, urea, and ethane (plastics). Residents of Darwin and Palmerston want jobs for the future that are good for people and maintain a healthy harbour.
Now more than ever, Territorians must speak up and defend their healthy harbour and protect their right to clean air and water. Join us and show your love for Darwin Harbour!
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