DCA can stop the clearing of Lee Point (Binybara)

Extension of Lee Point Development Permit DP18/0409

Friends of Lee Point recommend that the Development Permit (DP18/0409) not be extended at Lee Point (for Stage 2 see below) because;

  • Cultural heritage matters need to be completed.
  • Migratory Shorebird monitoring plans need to be implemented
  • Black-footed Tree-rat and Gouldian Finch (endangered species) requirements for avoidance and offsets need to be met.
  • Public benefit assessments for housing defence personnel at other locations should be undertaken.


The land at north of Lyons (2CRU), Lot 04873 is wholly owned by the Australian Government (Australian taxpayer). DP18/0409 relates to Stage 2 (image above).

On 30 November 2018, Defence Housing Australia (DHA) was issued with a Development Permit DP18/0409 by the Development Consent Authority (DCA) for a housing project.

The DCA is an independent authority appointed by the Minister under the Planning Act 1999. DCA’s role is to; make decisions on development applications including subdivisions, take action to enforce planning rules and hold public hearings on behalf of the Minister.

DP18/0409 was originally approved in 2018 and has been extended twice by the DCA since then. It should lapse on the 30 November 2023 (in accordance with last extension) because works have not been substantially commenced. Removal of asbestos, cycads and one day’s clearing work on Stage 2 does not constitute substantial commencement of work.

Lee Point – partial clearing of Black-footed Tree-rat and Gouldian Finch habitat in Stage 2 by DHA, July 2023.

Why the Development Permit DP18/0409 should not be extended

Cultural heritage significance

An application made by the Batcho family (part of Larrakia) to preserve and protect Binybara (Lee Point) was made on 6 July 2023. DHA agreed to pause works until 31 March 2024 to have this considered. The extension of the development permit should not happen until this matter has been properly considered.


Shorebird monitoring program – There is no evidence that a migratory shorebird monitoring plan, as required in the conditions, has been implemented. We understand several people have made written complaints to the NT Government on this.

Black-footed Tree-rat offset plan – This plan was supposed to have been submitted within 12 months starting work at Muirhead North. Over two years have passed and no plan has been approved.

Furthermore, Friends of Lee Point believe that DHA needs to investigate other housing areas* to avoid the impact on the (endangered) Black-footed Tree-rat or the (endangered) Gouldian Finch habitat, refer NT Government Offsets Framework.

*We understand this may be outside the role of DCA, however, there is no point the NT Government having an Offset Framework approved by the planning minister if no one implements it.

Public benefit

Not extending the development permit will allow time to assess the public benefit of housing defence personnel at alternative locations. The Holtze Area Plan was not available when DP18/0409 was first approved and there is no evidence that other housing locations were assessed for public benefit. Further information is at: Planning for Lee Point

Please email or phone the DCA by Wednesday 15 November asking them not to extend the Development Permit DP18/0409. The DCA hearing is scheduled for Friday 17 November 2023.

Suzanne Phillip

Chair of Development Consent Authority
Phone: 08 8999 6044
Email: development.consentauthority@nt.gov.au

Website: Development Consent Authority