The Charles Darwin Symposium Series 2003
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  Symposium Two: Darwin 17 - 18 July 2003 Beyond the frontier: Sustainable futures for North Australia  
Overview Program Keynotes Speakers

Speakers


Professor Jon Altman (Symposium close - final comments)

Biographical Details

Professor Jon AltmanProfessor Jon Altman is an economist and anthropologist who since 1990 established and heads the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research at the Australian National University. He has undertaken research on numerous issues in the Northern Territory varying from the significance of land rights and native title, to industry studies on mining, tourism and the arts, to regional studies on outstations, the customary economy and the efficacy of Indigenous organisations. Professor Altman holds an adjunct appointment at the NTU and collaborates regularly with colleagues at the Key Centre for Tropical Wildlife Management and the Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation, Maningrida.

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Dr David Bowman

Biographical Details

Dr David BowmanDr David Bowman (Principal Research Fellow, ARC Key Centre for Tropical Wildlife Management, Northern Territory University) is an internationally recognised authority of the ecology and management of Australian vegetation, with a particular interest in bushfires and Indigenous ecological knowledge. Since moving to the NT in 1984, following his post graduate research into sustainable forestry in Tasmania, he has conducted field research throughout northern Australia and worked at a variety of laboratories throughout Australia and overseas. His recently published a book entitled Australian rainforests: islands of green in a land of fire (Cambridge University Press) presented a challenging new theory concerning the flammability of Australian vegetation for which he was awarded a Doctor of Science degree from the University of Tasmania.

Presentation Abstract

A recipe for belonging to northern Australia: the roles of traditional, scientific and adaptive ‘knowledge’

‘If you think knowledge is expensive try ignorance’ - the settlement of northern Australia is an excellent example of this old saying. Inappropriate knowledge systems and a failure to appreciate the profound ecological understanding of indigenous people have hampered the sustainable development of northern Australia. With some notable exceptions, such as the technological transfer of landscape burning from traditional people to the early pastoral industry, the history of settlement of northern Australia has been like a government funded game of ‘blind man’s buff’, with monolithic schemes lurking and stumbling from one disaster or spectacular misapprehension to another. Only belatedly, and after enormous loss of knowledge, are environmental scientists now routinely collaborating with Indigenous land managers. However, new threats and accelerating rates of change driven by global processes has demanded new approaches beyond both the local scope of traditional ecological knowledge and the cautious certainty and universal applicability of classical scientific knowledge. I suggest the most appropriate knowledge system will be found, in part, in the emerging field of adaptive management where land management interventions are seen as what they really are - ‘experiments’ conducted in the face of great uncertainty. The development of a historical context is also of critical importance to place ‘extreme’ events into a more realistic context. While the future is uncertain, with increasing knowledge base, derived from practical experience, natural history observations and pure and applied intellectual inquiry, north Australia can avoid some of the more calamitous impacts of settlement that burden southern Australian environments. Such a knowledge base will no doubt lead to a greater sense of belonging for the recent settlers of north Australian environments, which may give rise to a ‘a land ethic’ where some economically natural resources may be foregone to preserve other values – paralleling similar decisions already made by some indigenous groups.

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Mr Barry Chambers

Biographical Details

Mr Barry ChambersBarry Chambers is the inaugural Chief Executive of the Northern Territory Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment which was created by merging three related agencies in 2001. He is a professional civil engineer whose career has involved the provision of a wide range of government infrastructure over the past 35 years. This period has coincided with the growing expectation of the community and their governments that development and conservation issues must be balanced to achieve a sustainable future.

 

 

Presentation Abstract

The balancing act for Government: developing the north and protecting our uniqueness

The Northern Territory is a unique locality which has largely being unaffected by development. This is not a reason for restraining the ambitions of the Territory’s people for economic growth. Developing the north and preserving the unique features of our environment is a balancing act for Government.

For Government to perform this balancing act, the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment with its wide ranging, and seemingly conflicting, responsibilities has a special duty to put before Government the outcome of sound and rigorous research and analysis.

This will ensure that development of the north and the protection of our environment is based on fact rather than perceptions and myths.

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Professor John Chappell

Biographical Details

Professor John ChappellJohn Chappell is a geologist who has encountered the traces of majestic changes through which the earth has passed, and is sobered to find that these are unmatched by some of the changes that are underway today. He is currently Professor of Environmental Processes in the Research School of Earth Sciences at ANU, and formerly was Professor and head of the Department of Biogeography & Geomorphology in the Research School of Pacific Studies. His field-based research on changing sea levels, climates and physical environments over the last 35 years has encompassed many regions of northern Australia and Papua New Guinea, and, more recently, parts of China. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

Presentation Abstract

Retrospective and prospective changes of climate and environment in northern Australia: implications for sustainable development

After the cessation 10,000 years ago of repeated, violent swings of climate, agriculture emerged and humans began to tread the earth ever more heavily. Eventually separated by attitude, industry and weight of numbers from our ecological context, our total impact may exceed all changes that have befallen the earth since the death of the dinosaurs. The record of the past helps us gauge the bounds of what we may hope to sustain in future.

Climatic and sea level changes in the recent geologic past were more rapid than forecast under global greenhouse, according to evidence from many parts of the world. Plants and animals adjusted to these changes, which occurred not once but repeatedly throughout the last few million years. At first glance, this information seems to suggest that our scarred environment will heal, once human populations have stabilised and sustainable development is achieved, but closer inspection shows this conclusion to be false. Unhappily, human impacts upon the natural world are very different from past patterns of change. While some impacts are debated, such as the human role in prehistoric extinctions, others are unarguable: modern humans are causing extinctions of creatures large and small at a higher rate than the world has seen since the catastrophe that extinguished the dinosaurs. Furthermore, past climate changes did not reduce regionally continuous ecosystems to oceans of farmland, sprinkled with sparse archipelagos of parks and reserves, reducing biodiversity and impeding adaptation to global warming. In short, the key question is whether damage to the global ecological theatre is becoming so great, that it may neither adapt to oncoming climate changes nor recover from its degraded state.

No greater challenge faces Australia than to achieve a sustainable way of life. The recent State of Environment Report indicates that our present water usage exceeds supply in much of south-eastern Australia and that land degradation is a major contributor of turbidity, nutrients and pesticides to waterways, as well as loss of soil fertility. Large areas of acidic and sodic soils contribute to poor water quality, secondary salinity and loss of ecosystem function. Dryland salinity, a legacy of broad-acre land clearing affects 5.8 m Ha and is increasing. Our rate of clearance of native vegetation apparently is exceeded in only four other countries. None of this is sustainable. Looking to our north, the Indonesian fires of 1997-98 show how human activities can acutely sensitise the environment to climatic events that, in themselves, are not new.

Australia's north, with its small population, is in an enviable position to achieve the new National Priority of living sustainably with the environment. The paper presents evidence of the ways in which the ecologic theatre has acted in the past, on time scales of decade to millennia; understanding these changes will help achieve this goal.

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Dr Neil Conn AO - MEc(Syd) PhD(Duke) Hon DEc(NTU) FAICD

Biographical Details

Dr Neil Conn AODr Conn, the Chairman of Original IT Investments Pty Ltd, is also Deputy Chairman of IASbet Ltd. He was Administrator of the Northern Territory from 1997 to 2000, following 12 years as Chief Executive of the Northern Territory Treasury. He has extensive experience in the public and private sectors including positions as Executive Director Corporate Finance CIBC Australia Ltd, Deputy Secretary NSW Treasury, Principal Administrator at the OECD in Paris, Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Sydney and as Chairman/Director of many public sector corporations in the NT.

He was a member of the Australian Statistics Advisory Council for 12 years from 1981, and from 2000 to 2002 was a member of the Australian Accounting Standards Board and the Heads of Treasuries Accounting and Reporting Advisory Committee. Outside business and the public sector, he has served as Chairman of the Darwin Symphony Orchestra, been a Director of the Darwin Performing Arts Centre, and is currently a member of the NSW State Council of St John Ambulance Australia and Adviser to its Executive Committee.

Dr Conn was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1996.

Presentation Abstract

How the NT can sustain a second-class future
Avoid taking risks.

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Mr Barry Coulter

Biographical Details

  • Barry Coulter was born in Bendigo, Victoria and moved to Darwin in 1976 to work at the Darwin Community College after spending almost six years in Papua New Guinea
  • He gained CLP pre-selection for the seat of Berrimah in 1983 and was elected to the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly in December 1983
  • He was promoted to cabinet in December 1984
  • Elected Deputy Chief Minister by Parliamentary colleagues on 14th May 1986
  • Barry Coulter has held almost every portfolio responsibility over a sixteen year period including Treasury for almost nine years
  • Stepped down from politics and resigned after the successful Consortium for the Railway Project was announced on 18th June 1999. He spearheaded the Alice Springs to Darwin Railway Project for 13.5 years
  • Until recently he was
    • Chairman of the Northern Territory Defence Industry Study course 2001
    • Board Member, Centre Applied Economics, University of South Australia
  • Currently
    • Chairman, Darwin Port Authority
    • Chairman, Air North
    • Board Member, International All Sports
    • Represents a variety of national Corporations in the Northern Territory including oil and gas, construction and mining interests
  • He also runs Mt Bundy Cattle Station and is involved in the Horticultural Industry
  • Barry has two sons

Presentation Abstract



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Dr Rosemary Hill

Biographical Details

Dr Rosemary HillDr Rosemary Hill is an environmental scientist with a strong interest in Indigenous peoples’ rights and approaches to the land. She has been an advocate for conservation in northern Australia for over 20 years, winning the Cassowary Award in 2001 for her role in achieving both World Heritage listing and recognition of Aboriginal culture in the Wet Tropics. She is currently Northern Australia Program Coordinator for the Australian Conservation Foundation, active in promoting holistic engagement with sustainability issues, through community-based, scientific and socio-economic approaches to conservation.

Presentation Abstract

Creating an ecologically sustainable northern Australia

From a global perspective, northern Australia is important for two reasons: its outstanding near-natural landscapes, and the cultural diversity of the Indigenous peoples. Imagine a future where we enhance these values—Indigenous peoples have the skills and opportunities to choose their own development pathways, to actively engage their cultures in keeping country healthy—and where the wild rivers still run free, the land is still covered with native trees and alive to the haunting cry of curlews by night.

Creating this future depends on the adoption of ecologically and culturally appropriate models for economic development. Truly sustainable development—based on knowledge industries, digital communications, low-impact tourism, community services, cultural and creative industries, renewable energy production, and sustainable farming systems—can position us to be part of the new economy, where growth is strong.

Right now there are early warning signs—rising saline groundwater in places, a rapid decline of mammals and granivorous birds, and a failure to lift key socioeconomic indicators of Indigenous peoples' well-being through major resource projects…Continuing the current development pathways will re-produce the intractable environmental problems of southern Australia—salinisation, species extinction—and offer little hope for Indigenous people to move beyond the impacts of colonisation. Government policy settings, and industry/community partnerships will be critical in supporting ecological and cultural sustainability.

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Mr Mark Horstman (Co-Chair)

Biographical Details

Mark HorstmanMark Horstman is a science journalist with ABC Radio National and News Media, currently in Sydney. Trained in tropical biology at James Cook University in Townsville, for around the last fifteen years he has worked on environment and development issues with Aboriginal, conservation, and government groups in northern Australia and on a national level.
From 1998 to 2002, Mark lived in Derby and Broome working with the Kimberley Land Council and Aboriginal people to establish an active land and sea management program that makes practical application of extensive traditional knowledge, including projects with the CRC for Tropical Savannas Management.

Having taken the long way round to becoming a journalist - and live in a large city - he remains astonished that the ABC offered a science cadetship to a Queenslander with a dodgy haircut and some attitude, clutching a savanna-sized pannikin in caffè latte country, making wild assurances about 'picking things up along the way'.

Since joining the ABC in late 2002, Mark has made good his threat: writing science news and features for The Lab, making programs for The Health Report and Earthbeat, creating diversions when faced with curly questions on talkback radio, working on Bush Telegraph's Grow Your Own project, and has just been let loose on ABC-TV’s Catalyst.

He’s a firm believer that science doesn’t just reside in the universities or in the ‘south-east triangle’ – there are many unsung scientific minds and methods in the bush and the suburbs, especially in the north. As important as good scientific research, he reckons, is the story that it tells, and the policy it informs.

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Mr Hully Liveris

Biographical Details

Hully Liveris is a third generation Darwinite who had the good fortune of growing up in a town that was a fantastically rich cultural and educational experience.

Tracy blew him off to Sydney to “discover” the north shore, eastern suburbs, westies and the rest. They didn’t fully appreciate his stories of spearing stingray.

He returned to Darwin following completion of tertiary education at the University of New South Wales to a city in reconstruction mode.

With a passion and memory for the Darwin of the past he has sought to examine the creation of a contemporary regional Architecture in the Top End of the Northern Territory.

Presentation Abstract

The Importance of a Contemporary Regional Architecture for Northern Australia.
A Local Perspective.

Life in these parts can be hard, real hard.

If you get the built environments wrong up here, then you've got a great chance of cooking your goose.

Successful outcomes in the Top End [Architecturally speaking] usually involve acknowledgement of our unique physical and cultural environment.

In many ways Architects throughout Australia have lost their way in providing enriching built environments attuned to the people and contexts for which they are meant to serve. Local solutions are overlooked for national ones with “expertise”.

Certainly up here the broader issues of Governmental policies do not greatly assist the elevation of the Art of Architecture to be of benefit to the greater population and in many ways Government historically have negatively interfered in the actual design and planning of our environments.

The Northern Territory has no Government Architect, and many tiers of Government, including Council, have an Engineering focus when it comes to the making of our cities and landscapes.

Our urban, suburban and rural landscapes are bearing the scars of poor planning and important public projects are being realised by consultancies that cannot or will not acknowledge our unique physical and cultural environment.

Architectural [and other] competitions are virtually unknown, and innovation has not really been encouraged.

Drop-dead commissions for public works frequently have resulted in less than optimum outcomes. Award winning small to medium sized local firms, which have a track record for innovation, are ignored for firms with quality assurance and national presence.

With reducing professional fees, increase in Client expectations, the problems in the insurance game and the corresponding increase in risk exposure, why would Architects and other disciplines attempt to instigate change and break new ground ?

The rising tide of confidence associated with our impending oil and gas boom will exacerbate the problems of making necessary changes that will enable contemporary solutions to be implemented and address the many issues that face our communities.

In the years into the future what will the questioning and investigative Darwinites think of our efforts in how we guided or positively influenced the development of our vital environments, from the backyard and on ?

Think about that and ask whether you have a part to play.

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Professor Ian Lowe

Biographical Details

Professor Ian LoweIan Lowe is one of Australia's most prominent environmental scientists as well as an amateur tenor and serious swing bowler. An Emeritus Professor at Griffith University, he has made presentations on environmental issues to audiences ranging from the Academy of Science to the Woodford Folk Festival. Recognition of his work includes the Queensland Premier's Millennium Award for Excellence in Science, the Prime Minister's Environment Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement, the 2002 Eureka Prize for Promotion of Science, the Centenary Medal and being made an Officer of the Order of Australia. He directed Australia's Commission for the Future in 1988, chaired the advisory council that produced the first national report on the state of the environment in 1996 and has been centrally involved in the international movement toward "sustainability science".

Presentation Abstract

Why depending on oil and gas is incompatible with the goal of sustainable communities in the Territory

As a nation, we are committed to the goal of developing in a sustainable way through a National Strategy, adopted by the Council of Australian Governments in 1992. Achieving that goal will require commitment to efficient resource use, conserving environmental values and developing social stability. Energy supply and use is a crucial consideration because our way of life is critically dependent on the ready availability of large amounts of fuel energy. For energy use to be sustainable, three changes are needed. We have to improve dramatically the efficiency of turning energy into the services people want: transport, lighting, cooling and heating, motive power and so on. We should be moving away from supply technologies based on limited resources; the most obvious example is petroleum. Finally, we should be phasing out energy supply technologies that impose unacceptable environmental costs, of which the most urgent example is global climate change resulting from use of hydrocarbon fuels. For these reasons, sustainability involves moving away from fossil fuels and increasing our reliance on renewable energy technologies, as well as improving the efficiency of energy use. The good news is that these changes will bring a range of social and economic benefits, especially to those communities which obtain an advantage by being "early adopters" of the new technologies.

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Ms Barbara Norman

Biographical Details

Ms Barbara NormanAs the Discipline Leader for the Environment and Planning programs of Social Science and Planning at RMIT in Victoria, Barbara’s research interests are in triple bottom line, strategic planning and public-private land use management. Previously Director of Metropolitan Planning and Land Supply in the ACT and head of ACT Housing (public housing agency), Barbara is also the immediate past national president of the Planning Institute of Australia, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Management. Barbara has worked at a senior level in the Victorian, NSW and ACT public sector and run her own consultancy. Her interests span environment, housing and planning, particularly the linkages between these. She has a strong interest in national policy in these areas and their relevance at the local level.

Presentation Abstract

Implementing sustainability in the Northern Territory - from governance to education

The concept of sustainability has been discussed for the past two decades and strategies and plans are being developed to implement sustainable cities and regions. However even the greatest proponents of a sustainable future are still grappling with implementing the ideas. One of the challenges is determining who does what in a federal system and how to achieve coordination across the sectors. Another challenge is incorporating the cultural dimension into the triple bottom approach to implementing sustainability. A third challenge is developing the skills to respond to a diverse environment. These challenges will be explored together with examples of successful implementation relevant to a sustainable future for north Australia.

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Mr Alan Morris

Biographical Details

Mr Alan MorrisAlan Morris has worked in the public sector at Territory, national and international level. An economist by profession, he has been particularly involved with machinery of government issues and promoting principles of good governance. He was Secretary of the Northern Territory Department of the Chief Minister from 1984-90 and Executive Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development from 1994-97. He is currently Chairman of the Commonwealth Grants Commission and also undertakes advisory work in the Pacific region.

 

Presentation Abstract

Powerhouse or Mendicant? Is the Territory an engine of growth or a drag on the Federation?

Territorians like to portray the Territory as a ‘sleeping giant’ whose potential as a powerhouse of the national economy is constrained by a lack of interest in the more populous parts of Australia, and timid, unsympathetic policies by successive national governments.

The Territory’s existence as a functioning community is heavily underpinned by the process of fiscal equalisation. The Territory receives more than five times the Australian average level of per capita funding through this process. Without this level of funding the structure of the Territory community could not be sustained at anything like current levels.

What does this say about financial sustainability?

This presentation will discuss the Territory’s financial viability and the prospects for the future. It will address such questions as whether the high levels of Commonwealth funding are an acceptable price to pay to sustain the Federation, an investment in the nation’s future, and how financial sustainability should be viewed.

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Mr Joe Morrison

Biographical Details

Joe Morrison was born and raised in Katherine and is of Wardaman and Torres Strait Islander descent. He has recently been seconded from the Parks & Wildlife Service to the CRC for Tropical Savannas Management. His background is in the broad Indigenous land and sea management arena having worked across the Top End of the NT for a decade in that field. He has spent considerable time supporting the development and promotion, along with the Northern Land Council’s Caring for Country Unit of community based ranger programs, particularly in the Gulf of Carpentaria region. He is currently the Coordinator of the North Australia Indigenous Land & Sea Management Alliance, working on a collaborative research project aimed at integrating Indigenous research into mainstream research across north Australia. He is a member of the Indigenous Advisory Committee, which advises the Federal Minister for Environment on matters relating to the EPBC Act and has recently been appointed to the Australian Landcare Council. He is also a board member for the Centre for Indigenous Natural and Cultural Resource Management. Joe’s interest have developed into what has been termed Traditional Ecological Knowledge, or more appropriately Indigenous Knowledge with an aim to legitimising Indigenous people’s knowledge of country alongside western science. His presentation is from a personal perspective on Indigenous natural and cultural resource management.


Presentation Abstract

A personal perspective on Indigenous natural and cultural resource management

Across the Northern Territory, Indigenous people own nearly 45% of the terrestrial land mass, with approximately 10% still under claim. On top of this, Indigenous people own 87% of the NT coastline and make up about 29% of the NT population.

The last 5 years has seen the emergence of community based ranger groups across the Top End climb to 30 with over 200 people engaged through the Community Development Employment Project (CDEP) scheme. However not only are new groups becoming engaged at a rapid rate, but the future for existing programs are very fragile, relying on adhoc and short term funding sources and a general non-acceptance in mainstream natural resource management fields of its legitimacy. Compounding this is the lack of knowledge in the environment and economic sectors of the potential opportunities that Indigenous people being on country could make to the wider community by customary activities. Having Indigenous people manage weed infestations, harvesting feral herbivores for consumption, undertaking burning and looking out for pest threats or diseases have to be recognised and embraced locally and nationally. This is part of being an Indigenous person.

While the landcare ethic and movement has been celebrated in Australia for a decade, Indigenous people have struggled with sustaining themselves on country, getting access to sacred sites and a seat at the negotiating table to manage some of the most bio-diverse landscapes in Australia.

There is a need to support Indigenous people to remain on their traditional country, carry out customary activities and manage new and emerging threats through organisational capacity development of resource providers and other government agencies. Indigenous people can manage country for the national good, using a blend of western science and indigenous knowledge and do it reasonably cheap, but there has to be a shift in the thinking behind the provision of resources and legitimising indigenous knowledge, a system that has managed this landscape for millennia.

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Dr Steve Morton

Biographical Details

Dr Steve MortonSteve Morton, Executive Chair, CSIRO Environment and Natural Resources

Dr Steve Morton is one of Australia's leading ecologists through over 30 years of professional experience and dedication to the Australian environment. An expert in the ecology of arid Australia, his work in more recent times has focussed on the challenge of integrating conservation into the production matrix. He is one of the country's foremost thinkers on issues facing conservation, land management and ecological sustainability. Steve recently chaired the Prime Minister's Science Engineering and Innovation Council's working group on "Sustaining our natural systems and biodiversity".

Steve received both his B.Sc.(Hons) and his PhD in animal ecology from the University of Melbourne. Following post-doctoral studies at the University of California, Irvine and the University of Sydney, he worked as a biologist for the Office of the Supervising Scientist at Jabiru in the Northern Territory. He joined CSIRO in 1984 at its Alice Springs laboratory, and transferred to Canberra a decade later.

Until recently Chief of CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Steve now has taken on responsibility for CSIRO’s five environmental Divisions as Executive Chair, Environment and Natural Resources. Steve has a strong vision for the ecological future of the nation, and longstanding commitment to meeting the challenge of achieving sustainable use of our landscapes.

Presentation Abstract

Balancing biodiversity and economic development in Northern Australia

Future-gazing is fun, but it is also important. Disciplined thought about likely futures not only provides insights into our present situation, but also has the potential to help us in nudging policy towards longer-term considerations. What do present trends in biodiversity suggest about the future for conservation and for the services that our ecosystems provide to human society. In tackling this question I will draw upon the work of my CSIRO colleagues, led by Michael Dunlop, who have analysed different scenarios for Australia’s land and water resources. The results suggest that Northern Australian landscapes will be quite different in future; and will provide us with both wonderful opportunities and profound challenges. I want us to use such thought experiments to assist us in considering our options and in working in concert to find a sustainable future.

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Professor Peter Newman

Biographical Details

Professor Peter Newman Professor Peter Newman is on secondment to the WA government where he is the Director of the Sustainability Policy Unit in the Department of Premier and Cabinet, co-ordinating the development of a Sustainability Strategy for the state. This Strategy has been recognised as one of the most innovative attempts in the world with significant public engagement.
He is also the Professor of City Policy at Murdoch University where he has been since the University began in 1974. He has been an elected councillor with the City of Fremantle and had secondments to work with the WA Premier and the Minister for Transport in the 80's. He is best known in Perth for his work in rebuilding the city's rail system.
Peter also works on an international level where he studies global cities and is a Visiting Professor with the University of Pennsylvania. His book with Jeff Kenworthy 'Sustainability and Cities: Overcoming Automobile Dependence' was launched in the White House in 1999 and his 2001 co-authored book is called 'Back on Track: Rethinking Australian and New Zealand Transport.'

Presentation Abstract

Sustainability and town planning: Some potential applications to the north.

Sustainability brings fresh perspectives as government, business and civil society try to simultaneously achieve improvement of their economies, environments, and communities. How WA has created a Sustainability Strategy, despite its 'wild west' caricature, may provide some perspective on the potential for the Northern Territory to adopt this unfolding global process and paradigm.
Town Planning was re-born 100 years ago as a way to integrate environmental and social concerns with the market. It remains a tool that could provide new opportunities for sustainability. Two key areas of application are: (1) Regional sustainability through the integration of 'place narrative' and community visioning with economic plans and natural resource management plans; and (2) Revitalising settlements through integrated land use and transport, especially emphasising their walkability.

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Professor Grahame Webb

Biographical Details

Professor Grahame WebbProfessor Grahame Webb is regarded by many as one of the world's leading authorities on crocodilian research and management, and on the concept of conserving wildlife through sustainable use programs. He is Managing Director and heads Wildlife Management International Pty. Limited that serves the needs of numerous national and regional governments, wildlife and conservation agencies, industries, universities and individuals tackling subjects ranging from pure scientific investigation and education, local environmental management to international issues associated in a range of countries. He began researching reptiles in the late 1960s, and since the 1970s has been actively involved in the conservation, management and traditional Aboriginal use wildlife resources. He has a distinguished academic record having held appointments with University of Sydney, Australian Museum, Sydney University of New South Wales and is an Adjunct Professor with the Northern Territory University. In 2001 he was awarded the prestigious Clunies Ross National Science and Technology Award, for his contribution to a new vision for wildlife conservation based on sustainable use.

Presentation Abstract

Using wildlife for economic benefit: strengths and weaknesses

Wild plants and animals are renewable natural resources which can and do provide people with a wide range of tangible benefits, especially in northern Australia. The concept of "conservation through sustainable use" (CSU) provides an internationally accepted framework through which wildlife can theoretically be developed as an economic resource, without compromising conservation goals. Northern Australia would appear an ideal site for implementing such programs, and has made some advances. However, the success of any such ventures will depend on a series of political, philosophical and technical constraints being overcome. This in turn will require resources, but more important, that the government and private sectors work together, with a common vision for the future.

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Robyn Williams - AM, Celebrity Speakers - The Christine Maher Group

Biographical Details

Robyn WilliamsRobyn Williams has presented The Science Show on ABC Radio National since it began in 1975 - this could be a record. His other weekly programs are In Conversation and Ockham's Razor. On television he appears on Catalyst and has presented series from Nature of Australia to The Battleships.
Robyn is the first and only journalist to be elected a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. He has four honorary doctorates and is a visiting professor at the University of NSW, Queensland and Balliol College Oxford.
His latest books include Scary Monsters and Bright Ideas, about communicating science, and a novel 2007 - A True Story About to Happen, a funny story about the possible end of civilization as we know it.

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Galarrwuy Yunupingu

Biographical Details

Galarrwuy Yunupingu, AM is a long-serving Chairman of one of Australia’s most powerful Aboriginal organisations, the Northern Land Council. His life is synonymous with the struggle for land rights and justice for his people. Born at Yirrkala (Melville Bay) in the Northern Territory in 1948, Galarrwuy was educated at the Yirrkala Mission School and at a Methodist bible college in Brisbane. He first became the NLC’s Chairman in 1977 and is a senior Gumatj clan leader. A formidable advocate for his people, he was presented with the Australian of the Year Award in 1978 and was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia in 1985.

 


Presentation Abstract

"Land Rights, the Northern Territory and "development" in the 21st Century".

  • The continuity of cultural and spiritual value of the land for Aboriginal people.
  • The change in non-Aboriginal values - coming more into line with an Aboriginal appreciation of the value of land management.
  • Potential areas of agreement and conflict between emerging Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal views of the land.
  • The challenge of bringing the two systems closer together constitutionally, culturally, and economically.
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All Enquiries: Conference Convenors:

Allison Harris
Events Officer
Northern Territory University
Darwin, Australia
Email:  cdss2003@ntu.edu.au
Phone: (+61 8) 8946 6554

Dr Tess Lea
Email:  cdss2003@ntu.edu.au
Phone: 0418 823 200

Dr David Bowman
Email:  cdss2003@ntu.edu.au
Phone: (+61 8) 8946 7763