Community asked to map Darwin Harbour’s future

19-Sep-2014

Dr Tom Brewer ...

Dr Tom Brewer ... "We want to find out what people value around Darwin Harbour."


Thousands of residents in the Darwin catchment area are being invited to “stick up” for their favourite places around the harbour, in an innovative, hands-on study by Charles Darwin University’s Northern Institute researcher Dr Tom Brewer.

Over the coming week, some householders will receive sticker packs in the post, accompanied by a satellite image of the harbour and a survey.

The idea is for people to place the stickers in order of value on the map. The stickers represent which areas are important to them and why.

As a joint project with the Northern Institute, the Australian Institute of Marine Science, and supported by City of Darwin, Dr Tom 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,” Dr Brewer 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.”

The parcel containing the stickers, survey, satellite map and list of values, will be sent randomly to about 2000 households.

“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.

“The stickers can denote favourite habitats, historic sites, cultural places and conservation areas - even most-loved fishing spots. Residents can also nominate what kind of development they would like to see and where.”

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.

“What’s so great about this is that community views are being represented. People will have a real say in how the harbour can be better managed and what kind of future development should take place and where.”