The 2017 Developing Northern Australia Conference will be held next month at the Pullman Cairns International Hotel over 19-20 June.

Dr Richard Brinkman, Research Program Leader – Sustainable Coastal Ecosystems and Industries in Tropical Australia, Australian Institute of Marine Science joins us in Cairns to discuss Improving certainty in environmental decision-making: the role of marine science in supporting sustainable growth of coastal and maritime industries in Northern Australia’.

With a richness of natural resources, cultural heritage and environmental values, Northern Australia is undergoing accelerated growth and expansion in coastal and maritime industries. An expansion of sea-borne trade and other maritime activities, such as fishing and tourism, is critical to realise potential economic growth of these sectors and a key component of the development agenda.

Dr Richard Brinkman

Proponents and operators of marine and coastal infrastructure developments, regulators and other stakeholders require reliable information about environmental risks and impacts to determine whether developments impose acceptable levels of impact and are managed such that impacts will be as low as reasonably practicable and in line with the principles of environmentally sustainable development. Increased certainty in the evaluation of environmental risks and impacts is important to increase efficiency of regulation and compliance activities, and to improve confidence in decision-making.

The need for coastal infrastructure development to accommodate growth in ship-borne resource exports and associated increasing ship sizes will see a growing demand for dredging operations. Dredging proponents and resource managers need to evaluate risks and potential impacts of dredging activities in order to manage dredging operations effectively and sustainably.  We present case studies from across Australia’s tropical marine estate where collaborations between ports, dredging industry, state and federal regulators and research institutions have filled knowledge gaps related to sustainable marine coastal infrastructure developments to inform and improve decision-making.

For more information on the 2017 Developing Northern Australia Conference and to secure your spot, please visit