Darwin’s Arafura Harbour: Developers vs Realists

In Featured Home Page News, Northern Territory

From the NT News

THE head of the new planning commission said he would not rule out revisiting the controversial Arafura Harbour development at Darwin’s East Point – if the proposal was resubmitted.

Gary Nairn said if the Minister was interested in the project it could end up back on the planning commission’s agenda.

“Nothing’s ruled in or out,” he said.

Mr Nairn said the commission had to work on Darwin’s broader development plan before they started looking at independent projects.

The five members of the new planning commission were announced yesterday and include strategic planner Graham Bailey, former Transport department chief executive David McHugh, interior design specialist Nicole Wheeler, former Parks and

Wildlife regional director Dr Ken Johnson and accountant Denys Stedman.

Lands and Planning Minister Peter Chandler said the commission would take a big picture approach and plan for home building, transport links, commercial and industrial development and essential facilities including waste disposal.

“We are putting an end to the free-for-all development that we have seen in the past,” he said.

The Government disbanded the former planning commission after last year’s election to create a more independent and transparent one.

But opposition leader Delia Lawrie said the CLP “have got to be joking” if they expect Territorians to believe it would be more independent.

“They have hand-picked the chair and not gone for an expression of interest,” she said.

Independent MLA Gerry Wood said the planning commission and the Environment Protection Authority would have a conflict of interest with Mr Nairn and EPA chair Bill Freeland sitting on both boards.

He said neither of the organisations would be independent.

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