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Community asked to map Darwin Harbour’s future

Dr Tom Brewer … “We want to find out what people value around Darwin Harbour and the foreshore” Dr Tom Brewer … “We want to find out what people value around Darwin Harbour and the foreshore”

Darwin residents have begun responding to an innovative survey designed to gather data on their favourite places around the harbour.

Charles Darwin University’s Northern Institute researcher Dr Tom Brewer said the first results had just started to filter in.

“It’s early days at the moment, but results are starting to come in and the data is being entered,” Dr Brewer said.

Some 2000 survey packs were randomly distributed to residents in the Darwin catchment area last month, asking them to nominate their favourite places around the harbour.

The packs contained a survey, a satellite map of the harbour and list of values, and a set of stickers.

Participants were asked to place the stickers on the map to represent in order of value which areas were important to them and why.

As a joint project with the Northern Institute, the Australian Institute of Marine Science, and supported by the City of Darwin, Dr Brewer said he believed this kind of community consultation was vital to the future of the harbour.

“We want to find out what people value around Darwin Harbour and the foreshore, and the reasons those places are important to them,” he said.

“We need to uncover how householders really feel about the area, and we want to tap into parts of the community which don’t usually have a voice.

“It’s a fun and interesting way for people to engage in the study, and we are really urging people to take part and have their say.”

Dr Brewer said he hoped to have initial results by the end of the year.

“I hope to present the findings to government departments to help in decision making and city planning,” he said.