Across northern Australia, significant opportunities for economic development are being explored.
Increasing focus on the development of northern Australia is seeing the region experience major investment and development in a landscape that boasts significant environmental and cultural values.
To meet the needs of investors and the community, and to reduce the risks to both the region’s unique values and future economic opportunities, robust development planning and decision-making processes are needed.
Achieving high-quality investment and development in the north requires planning and decision-making that can account for the complexity and diversity of values of the region, can facilitate acceptable trade-offs, and is based on the best available knowledge.
Integrated environmental assessment (IEA) is an approach for combining knowledge from diverse disciplines and knowledge systems, that can be used to inform and improve development decisions.
A research project, bringing together all six Hubs of the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program, and the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA), is aiming to support decision-makers in the design and delivery of IEA processes that would bring significant benefit for both investors and communities, and improve the quality and implementation of policy, regulatory, planning and project decisions in northern Australia.
The project seeks to contribute to improved decision-making about development and the environment in northern Australia. It aims to do this by working with the north’s stakeholders to adapt and tailor an existing IEA framework to fit within existing planning and decision-making processes. Building on the work of the CRCNA, the project has a specific focus on informing and are seeking to work with stakeholders across northern Australia to support them to adapt and tailor an existing IEA framework to fit in with existing planning and decision-making approaches.