Developing the north

18 September 2015

Hub Director Professor Michael Douglas has been featured in the BBC’s environment radio series, Costing the Earth. The episode Taming Australia investigates government plans for an economic boom in the largely unspoiled tropical north, namely through development in the agricultural and mining and resources sector.

While the potential for economic development in northern Australia is undeniable, the episode explores how these plans could impact on environmental and cultural values. Professor Douglas highlights the importance of river to landscape connectivity.

“I think one of the things that’s really special about these river systems is the fact that they’re still connected systems,” Professor Douglas said.

“These river systems are highly productive; they’re internationally recognised for their biodiversity and conservation values.”

Professor Douglas says while there is potential for more irrigated agriculture in the north, the cost to other users, such as Indigenous people, should be carefully considered.

The episode also features interviews with NAILSMA Chair Peter Yu, past executive officer of the Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the Northern Territory Craig Ingram and Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.

Click here to listen to the full episode.

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