On hold in the Litchfield Council area is a proposed new city at Noonamah – called by the developers Noonamah Ridge but locally known as Lloyd Creek. The developers say it would have a ‘rural feel to it’. It doesn’t have a proven, potable water system or endorsement from the NT Environmental Protection Authority. In fact, it’s a bit like a Noddy Toytown: perfect for dolls and puppets. It even has a hypothetical underground water system – according to the developers but not sunstantiated by facts.
Approved subdivisions for 56 small lots and 16 lots in Berry Springs are not supported by the local water aquifer. More Wet season rain is needed to sustain rural population growth. Town water is not an option so the developers need to install a water tower and restrict water use to what the aquifer is estimated to be able to sustain.
Our former CLP Planning Minister helped a lot of his friends subdivide rural land inappropriately. Many belong to ‘old’ Territory families whose forebears acquired huge sections of rural land at peppercorn prices. Ministerial friends have profited greatly from subdividing and selling over the years. Such initiatives are backed by several other large landholders wanting to divest themselves of rural land without going through a proper planning process. They by-pass the Development Consent Authority process and nestle into the loving arms of the Minister.
The NT Planning Commission has adopted the concept of a ‘rural feel’ of urban centres planned for the rural area. Village Centres have now become Activity Centres. The once minimum size of 2.5 acres becomes small enough to barely spin a coin on. Come in Spinner! I can feel a ‘rural’ coming on…
Back to Berry Springs and Rural zoned (20 acres or more) sections of land rezoned and subdivided into 5 acres per lot. Adjacent to the iconic Berry Springs Nature Park – with its magic and soothing mineral waters a subdivion is falsely advertised as part of Springs: real estate ad Oxford Road .
There no reticulated water and land titles depend on water provided on each block. There are no waterfalls and no immediate access allowed to the Nature Park. And don’t you just love the real estate hype of closeness to urban service centres! Unreal!
The other Ministerial=approved rezoning and subdivision will shortly be released for sale because of government pressure on the local Council to seal the road leading to the subdivision. This subdivision also has groundwater problems and borders on the Territory Wildlife Park.
A recommendation by the Heritage Council to list the large Kulaluk tract of coastal land and mangroves, also with a number of sacred sites and burial grounds must be adhered to by a government of ethics and integrity.
The Heritage Council received more than 200 public submissions during its assessment process. An independent report was also prepared by the former chief executive of the Department of Lands and Planning NT, Dr David Ritchie, which found the area was historically and culturally significant, in part because of its place in Australia’s fight for land rights. Dr Ritchie has recently been appointed as Chair of the NT Planning Commission.
A new ‘development’ is the ‘iconic’ road planned to go through Frog Hollow. Frog Hollow is undoubtedly iconic and destroying it is criminal! The Darwin Masterplan recommends a Rapid Transit/Tramway. The former Labor government also endorsed this. Now it endorses destroying more heritage for more private vehicles to access Darwin CBD.
What we need is a new Integrated Planning Act that recognises ecologically sustainable development (ESD) principles for the environment and future generations.