Project Leader

Project Collaborators

Building a Northern Australian community of practice and sentinel case studies for supporting improved regional planning to achieve Ecologically Sustainable Development




The challenge:


The future prosperity of northern Australia’s communities depends upon the sustainable expansion of current industries such as agriculture, grazing, mining, energy and tourism. Also, on new and innovative economic approaches.

Best outcomes for people, the environment and the economy are achieved only by careful planning, the support of a comprehensive knowledge-base, and after consultation between all sectors of community and government.

The research team, during NESP Project 1.32, and other reviews, have concluded that development planning has not always been done well, and that there are many obstacles to best-practice.

Guided by these previous findings, this project will undertake a range of complementary and integrated approaches to address the identified barriers.


Our approach:


Project 3.1 will achieve this by: establishing a strong regional planning network; supporting and facilitating new regional planning efforts; and, ensuring quality practice from the outset. Integral, will be:

  • Indigenous and general community inclusion;
  • incorporation of environmental and social sciences;
  • knowledge-sharing events; and
  • targeted capacity building.

Each of the supported planning activities will be considered as a ‘sentinel’ case, and ultimately undergo review and analysis by researchers and participants, to obtain learnings for application in future planning.


Expected outcomes:


Ecologically sustainable development.

Best-practice planning supported and refined.

Prosperous communities supported by well-planned, sustainable economic enterprises.