Disgraceful announcement by Environment Minister, Greg Hunt

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) is outraged by the Australian Government’s decision that Port Melville marine supply base does not require an environmental impact assessment. Read our joint media release below.

While the rest of the world is protecting their oceans, both the Territory and Australian governments are full steam ahead industrialising our Top End seas.

Our Northern Territory waters are some of the last pristine waters on earth. Our marine life is extraordinary with many species of national and international significance whose range and distribution are largely limited to our healthy waters.  We have an incredibly diverse collection of sea life and habitats. Marine species are still being identified and described here in the Top End.

Port Melville marine supply base will operate to service the offshore oil and gas industry. The chance of environmental catastrophe is very high with 30 million litres of fuel sitting on the water’s edge in a cyclone prone area. A full environmental impact assessment should be the bare minimum required for such a massive scale operation.

This decision has the potential to alter the health of our pristine waters forever. It is not only our environment at risk, but also our Territory lifestyle.

Here in the Northern Territory, we need to ensure that our Top End seas and iconic places are managed sustainably. Developments of this scale require proper environmental impact assessments.

This decision clearly highlights the inadequate environmental standards of the Territory and Australian governments.

Contact your local MP and raise your concerns about this development! Call for strong protection for our marine life and way of life.


The NT Government is asking for your input. Add your name today.

Now is our chance, as a community of proud Territorians, to shape the future we want for our coasts, lifestyle and livelihoods.

Thanks to the support of thousands of Territorians, the Gunner Government listened to our concerns and committed to developing its 10 year plan to manage and protect our Top End coasts and seas.

But we need to make sure this 10 year plan - the NT Coastal and Marine Management Strategy - does the job and implements enduring solutions. Right now the Government is asking for YOUR input. Please add your name today. Public comment closes 2nd March 2018.

I congratulate the Gunner Government on its commitment to develop a Marine and Coastal Management Strategy, and welcome the release of its Discussion Paper on the suggested goal and management principles, the specific objectives and the desired outcomes. This is an opportunity for all Territorians to have our say on how to ensure a healthy future for the Top End’s coasts and our lifestyle and livelihoods that rely on them.

It is critical that this Discussion Paper is seen as a starting point, an opportunity for Territorians to make it clear to the Government the outcomes the community want to see as a result of this process.

The Northern Territory coast and marine environment is truly special, for unique marine wildlife, its iconic fishing, and for its strong cultural connections for Indigenous Territorians. Our coastline is in relatively good shape, but it is facing increasing threats evidenced by the recent large-scale mangrove dieback, pollution, and that the fishing isn’t as good as it used to be in places.

Right along the coastline, across sectors and communities, Territorians are seeing the pressures mounting and want more to be done. We need measures that not only manage threats, but that also take a proactive approach to securing the future of our coasts. I would like your government to build on the work of stakeholders and the community, and deliver a suite of Territory style solutions. These should include Seacountry Indigenous Protected Areas, recreational fishing areas and national parks in the sea. Importantly, our tropical rivers must continue to flow and our precious seagrass meadows safeguarded from the threat of seabed mining.

This Coastal and Marine Management Strategy presents an opportunity for Government, stakeholders and the community to set our Northern Territory waters up for the future through application of enduring solutions. Without this proper protection and management, the Top End coasts and seas are at risk.

Please count this as my submission to the Coastal and Marine Management Strategy consultation.

I look forward to your response and to working with you to develop a plan that delivers the protection and management that our Top End coasts need in order to secure their future.