To the NTEPA,
I am writing to make a submission on the Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct (MASDP) that has been referred to the NTEPA for a Strategic Environmental Assessment under the Environment Protection Act 2019 (NT).
The environmental, cultural, social, and recreational values of Darwin Harbour are important to me, as they are to many Territorians. I am highly concerned by the MASDP proposal and its potential to have significant negative impacts on Darwin Harbour and the health of nearby residents.
I am particularly concerned by the development of a toxic petrochemical plant at Middle Arm and the lack of transparency about this proposal. The proponent’s documents state that MASDP will be situated 3km from the City of Palmerston. Given the risk of significant impacts to human health, as well as the possibility of air and water pollution and petrochemical explosions, I find this proposal to be highly concerning. It is unacceptable that specific information about the companies and projects planned for the petrochemical is not being made known to the public, and that separate projects will not need to undertake individual environmental impact assessments.
I do not want to see Darwin Harbour polluted from toxic chemicals and greater emissions from gas. Furthermore, I am concerned by expanded dredging, seabed disturbance, and impacts on marine species that would result from the industrialisation of Darwin Harbour. As such, I urge the NTEPA to hold a public inquiry into the environmental, social and cultural impacts of the proposed petrochemicals facility under the Environment Protection Act, with public hearings.
Territorians must be fully informed about this proposal and appropriately scrutinise the impacts on the health and wellbeing of the residents and environment of the Harbour and surrounding areas.