Minister for Environment
Ensuring Environmental Sustainability for the Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct
11 May 2022
The Territory Labor Government is working with industry and stakeholders to accelerate the development of Middle Arm into a globally competitive sustainable precinct.
Engaging with stakeholders and industry forms an important part of the planning process to ensure we maintain a sustainable environment while also developing new and emerging industries.
The Northern Territory Government is inviting local businesses to provide input towards the development of an airshed model for the Greater Darwin region.
An airshed refers to the air in a set geographic region grouped for the purpose of air quality management.
Developing an airshed model will help the Northern Territory Government plan for ecologically sustainable growth and development across the Greater Darwin region.
Approximately 530 light industrial businesses who produce emissions in Greater Darwin will be invited to complete a survey to ensure all emissions are captured.
Emission data will be de-identified and combined to form a model showing the distribution of emissions. The data will not be used for any other purpose and businesses will not be penalised based on their survey response.
The airshed model will be considered a gold standard for predicting the impact of cumulative air emissions and is a requirement of environmental approvals for the Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct.
The airshed model will:
establish an emissions inventory reflecting the current status of emissions-producing activities as a baselineassist in understanding which pollutants exist within residential areas, and help assess how new industries can be located to avoid increasing pollutant concentrations within residential areasplan for future industrial development by measuring the effects of additional emitting activities on people and the environmentassist with regulating emissions from heavy industryplan the regional monitoring network by understanding where air quality is being impacted.
The model will be developed by data obtained from the survey as well as from heavy industry who already report emissions to the NT Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) as part of their licensing requirements.
Consultation is also occurring as part of the environmental impact assessment process for the Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct.
This targeted stage of consultation coincides with the public exhibition of the draft Terms of Reference for the environmental impact assessment being undertaken under both the territory and federal environment acts.
Feedback is being sought on the draft Terms of Reference which determines what values must be considered, and what matters must be assessed, in the environmental studies.
The public is able to provide feedback on the NT EPA [http://www.ntepa.nt.gov.au/consultation/open-consultations] and Have Your Say [http://www.haveyoursay.nt.gov.au] websites until 10 June.
The Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct will centralise and elevate the Territory’s export and energy industries to become a globally competitive, sustainable precinct. It focusses on low emissions hydrocarbon, renewable hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, minerals processing and advanced manufacturing.
Quotes attributed to the Minister for Environment, Eva Lawler:
“Creating long-term, sustainable jobs is important to ensuring economic advancement in the Territory, and this Precinct will do just that within driving distance from Darwin, Palmerston and the rural area.
“Harnessing the Territory’s world-class energy resources positions us for growth in a net zero emissions world, with opportunities to capitalise on the growing demand for low and zero emissions supply chains.
“Balancing economic advancement with environmental protection is important. Finding this balance is one of the reasons why the environmental assessment is being conducted at a ‘whole of precinct’ level rather than just ‘project by project’. This important work will allow government to understand cumulative impacts and will provide better certainty for both industry and the community.”
Northern Territory Government