City of Darwin Motion Talks

TALK 3 – Times Have Changed

TALK 1 – Ian Morris (ecologist and tour guide), TALK 2 – Tiara (Larrakia woman)

There are very few cities in the world that have a reserve like Lee Point on their doorstep. Lee Point makes Darwin a special place and is an irreplaceable asset.

We live in times when governments and people all around the world are trying to green their cities and bring back biodiversity. Friends of Lee Point congratulate City of Darwin for their Greening Darwin Strategy. It shows great leadership and promotes our Darwin quality of life. However, in the last two weeks we saw just the opposite happen – land clearing at Lee Point.

It needs to be realized that much has changed since the Lee Point Area Plan was approved in 2015.

2015 – The NT Darwin Regional Land Use Plan by the NT Planning Commission – the big picture, outlined areas for future development. This document indicated that – Land Use Plans are dynamic (not static) and need to adapt to changing circumstances. The Commission had no involvement in the LP Area Plan, despite having had extensive involvement with nearly all the other Area Plans in Darwin.

2016Smart Cities Plan which encourages housing to be located near jobs and transport. Lee Point is not near defence jobs or public transport – defence sites are shown in grey.2019 – COD declared a Climate Emergency, and in

2020 – the NT Government committed to take action on climate change and there was a new NT Planning Act, with objectives such as to;

  • Ensure that strategic decisions reflect the wishes and needs of the community.
  • Promote the sustainable development of land and
  • Protect the quality of life of future generations.

The LP Area Plan does not promote these objectives and shouldn’t be in the NT Planning Scheme. Very few people support having major housing developments at Lee Point. They believe Lee Point should be kept for the public’s enjoyment and many believe that the natural beauty and biodiversity of Lee Point should be protected.

There are no social, environmental or economic benefits from housing thousands of people at Lee Point – just unnecessary expenditure of taxpayer’s money to produce what will be an urban sprawl. Traffic congestion is already a significant problem and will get much worse with added housing at Lee Point.

Circumstances have changed greatly for Lee Point since 2015 – this means some decisions on Lee Point will need to change. There is no public benefit from following the 2015 LP Area Plan and to continue with this plan is extremely short sighted and irresponsible.

A new comprehensive Area Plan needs to be developed for Lee Point by the Commission as the independent planning authority. Housing related work happening at Lee Point should stop now and housing be located elsewhere.

Voting for the Save Lee Point motion will help keep Darwin a special place for future generations. It’s about doing what’s right for Darwin.

by Friends of Lee Point – Ian Redmond