Chapter 10

Environment

10.1
Northern Australia contains irreplaceable environmental assets, which are also economically, culturally and socially valuable. Northern Australia's conservation reserves include world, national heritage-listed places, protected areas, First Nations protected areas and wetlands. There are 726 protected areas covering 495,265 kilometres and 32 First Nations protected areas that cover 349,300 kilometres.1
10.2
While Northern Australia's abundant ecosystems are environmentally, socially and culturally invaluable, they are also a key area of development for the Northern Australian economy. Northern Australia's agriculture and tourism industries are particularly dependant on, access to, and maintenance of the region's natural environment. This chapter considers the environmental value of Northern Australia, as well as the risks posed to it by climate change, biosecurity and changes to river systems.

The White Paper

10.3
While Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia (the White Paper) made recommendations in the areas of water management (see chapter 4) and native title (see chapter 6), it had little to say about the environmental value of the region and made few recommendations that specifically addressed environmental outcomes. Those made were:
increased First Nations ranger biosecurity activities: the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment provided $12.4 million to expand biosecurity surveillance activities by First Nations ranger groups across Northern Australian; and
wildlife trade reform: the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is streamlining the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora permit processes to provide greater certainty for the commercial wildlife trade in northern Australia and remove permit requirements for low-risk native species.2
10.4
While the White Paper does acknowledge Northern Australia's 'pristine natural environment', this is mainly done in the context of the natural environment's role in attracting tourism to the region. The White Paper states:
[Developing the north] will need to be consistent with safeguarding the incredible northern environment for future generations. It is, after all, the north’s exceptional environment that draws visitors from around the world. It is particularly important to understand our role as stewards of our unique natural wonders, such as the Great Barrier Reef, ensuring all development is done in a way that protects the outstanding universal value of such special places.3
10.5
The White Paper also discussed the National Environmental Science Program,4 the Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy,5 simplifying environmental approvals,6 biodiversity,7 and maintaining the health of the Great Barrier Reef and other heritage areas.8

Existing government programs

10.6
The Australian Government is involved in a number of environmentally focused programs in Northern Australia. A selection of these programs is discussed below.
10.7
The National Landcare Program helps communities take practical action to protect and manage Australia’s important environmental assets and productive landscapes. It is currently in its second phase, which runs from 2018-19 to 2022-23. During the first phase of the program, a number of projects were completed, including the Threatened Species Recovery Fund to 2019-20 and Environmental Small Grants 2018-19 programs.9
10.8
Phase 2 (2018-19 to 2022-23) includes a $1.1 billion investment over this period, which funds a number of subprograms. These programs are listed below, including their dedicated funding, where publicly listed:
Regional Land Partnerships ($450 million);
Smart Farms Program ($134 to 2023);
Delivery of the Reef 2050 Plan;
Support for World Heritage locations;
Support for Indigenous Protected Areas ($15 million, in addition to a pre-existing $93 million);
20 Million Trees;
Support for efforts to control Yellow Crazy Ants ($9 million); and
Centre for Invasive Species Solutions.10
10.9
The Australian Government also runs the Geological and Bioregional Assessment Program, which will assesses the potential impacts of shale and tight gas development on water and the environment. It has previously undertaken assessments of the Cooper, Isa and Beetaloo geological and bioregional areas. Stage 3 of the program includes '[i]mpact analysis and management assessment analyses the potential impacts to water resources and Commonwealth and state matters of environmental significance to enable effective monitoring, mitigation and management measures'. This is scheduled to be completed during 2021.11
10.10
Regarding the Great Barrier Reef, the Federal and Queensland Governments support the Reef Trust, which seeks to implement the Reef 2050 Plan and the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan 2017-2022. The Australian Government has contributed over $700 million to the trust. The Reef Trust’s stated objectives are to:
improve the quality of water entering the Great Barrier Reef from broad-scale land use to increase the health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef;
improve the health and resilience of coastal habitats;
improve and protect marine biodiversity, including the reduction of Crown-of-Thorns Starfish and protection of listed threatened and migratory species such as Dugongs and marine turtles; and
undertake any new development maintains or improves the condition of matters of national and state environmental significance through the strategic delivery of offsets through the Reef Trust.12
10.11
The Australian Government supports the National Environmental Science Program, which is a $142.5 million 'long term commitment to world class environment, biodiversity and climate research' that sought to 'deliver practical research to improve on-ground outcomes, policy and planning'.13 The National Environmental Science Program is ongoing and now in its second phase, with an additional $149 million provided from 2020-21 to 2026-27.14
10.12
The Australian Government also provides funding for the management of World Heritage sites, including the Great Barrier Reef, Wet Tropics of Queensland, Ningaloo Coast, Purnululu National Park and Australian Fossil Mammal Site (Riversleigh). Funding is also provided to support the management of national parks, including the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park and Kakadu National Park.15
10.13
The Australian Government previously supported the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, which worked to support decision makers throughout Australia as they prepared for and managed the risks of climate change and sea-level rise. The National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility ceased in 2019.16

World Heritage Areas

10.14
Northern Australia contains a number of World Heritage Areas, including the Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Parks, the Wet Tropics of Queensland, Ningaloo Coast, Purnululu National Park and Australian Fossil Mammal Site (Riversleigh). These sites are world-renowned for their natural beauty and are a significant economic resource as part of Northern Australia's tourism industry.
10.15
The Wet Tropics Management Authority (WTMA) described to the committee the environmental importance of World Heritage areas to the region. The WTMA also noted that, while 30 years ago World Heritage listing was seen as an economic constraint, today such a listing provides the opportunity to create a world-class tourism industry.17 After noting that the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area attracted $5.2 billion annually to the regional economy, the WTMA submitted:
In a region that boasts two world heritage areas {the rainforest and the reef), nature plays a vital social, economic, cultural and environmental role, providing ecosystem services, tourism and recreation, research and biodiscovery and green infrastructure that contributes to the resilience and well-being of regional businesses and residents. Investment in supporting these roles will provide a strong economy and jobs in the future.18
10.16
While the WTMA acknowledged that World Heritage Areas in Northern Australia were facing great threats, it highlighted that new opportunities were also emerging:
Australia boasts some of the best managed world heritage areas on the planet, with safe access and high quality support services. Despite this, there are mounting pressures from threatening processes such as pest incursions, increased fire risk and climate impacts. With these challenges come opportunities, and as a nature based economy, there are significant opportunities for regional jobs in tourism and tourism support businesses, but also in an emerging 'conservation economy', including, for example, in environmentally sensitive planning, architecture and design, landscape restoration and resilience, fire and pest management, threatened species recovery, and research, innovation and discovery.19
10.17
However, not all World Heritage Areas in Australia have been equally successful. The Darwin Major Business Group noted that, until the last four years, there had been 'virtually no Commonwealth investment' in the Kakadu National Park:
the tourist industry has been unable to market the World Heritage Kakadu. This has resulted in a decline in visitation of almost 40% over the last 20 years.
The decline in visitation has obviously impacted the viability of tourism and accommodation businesses. Visitation numbers will only improve when Kakadu National Park roads and other supporting infrastructure provide much greater and ease of access to the well-known Kakadu sites.20
10.18
The Darwin Major Business Group welcomed the Commonwealth’s undertaking to invest 70 per cent of its 10-year $216 million commitment in Kakadu National Park, within the next four years.21

Climate change

10.19
Climate change is a serious risk to Northern Australia's economy, environment and people. Northern Australia faces a potential escalation in the frequency and magnitude of hazards that could be economically, socially and environmentally devastating. In submitting to the inquiry, the Department of Home Affairs described the potential impacts nationwide:
Extreme weather events and natural disasters will continue to disrupt the livelihoods of Australians, with considerable economic and social impacts. Climate change is making weather patterns less predictable and more extreme, and natural disasters are expected to become more frequent and severe. Without taking into account the impacts of climate change, the economic cost of disruption from natural disasters is estimated to be around $39 billion per annum by 2050. The impacts of climate change will see Australian experience—as we did this year—more national-scale heatwaves, bushfires, floods and cyclones.22
10.20
The Department of Home Affairs further noted that Northern Australia—which has long experienced the impact of natural disasters—has 'the potential for more disaster risk, with more exposure and vulnerability to disaster impacts'. The Department submitted:
[Increased disaster risk] will exacerbate existing stresses for Australians living and working in the north. Disaster resilience, and the ability to quickly recover from catastrophic disasters, is essential to ensuring that these communities continue to prosper.23
10.21
However, the White Paper does not comment on climate change, save to refer to the now-defunct Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility24 and a one-off reference to climate change as a threat to biodiversity.25 This is surprising, given that climate change is a major threat to Northern Australia's agricultural industry26 and given the White Paper's focus on Northern Australia's pastoral land development. Indeed, climate change may well result in a rise in diseases and pest-related problems that would impact the agricultural economy in the region.27
10.22
Climate change will also have a significant impact on marine environments, such as on sensitive tropical marine ecosystems across the north, including on coral reefs.28 This would undoubtedly have an impact on tourism to these locations, which is a substantial source of income for parts of Northern Australia, as was discussed above. While in 2018 the Queensland Government released its Building a resilient tourism industry: Queensland Tourism Climate Change Response Plan, the Australian Government is yet to release a comparable plan.29
10.23
One of the most devastating results of climate change could be the impact on those living in Northern Australia, as climate change poses an existential threat to many coastal and island communities. On Thursday Island, the committee received evidence from Mr Phillemon Mosby, Mayor, Torres Strait Island Regional Council, who described the impact of climate change on the region:
A lot of the harsh reality experienced by our people throughout the Torres Strait, in terms of the impact of climate change, is that people are seeing the movement of erosion taking place. It's affecting areas of sacred sites or burial grounds or places that are culturally significant, where traditional or cultural ceremonies or initiations take place. Also, there is change in how people gather and hunt and fish around the surrounding islands. We're seeing the impact of that as well. Stories or songlines that speak of significant places or events are no longer there. They're either covered or have been affected by climate change. People are worried. They're mentally affected, psychologically affected, by the uncertainty of how long this will go on for.30
10.24
Mrs Vonda Malone, Mayor, Torres Shire Council, also described how the Torres Strait Regional Authority, Torres Shire Council and Torres Strait Island Regional Council had formed an alliance to combat issues surrounding climate change and had produced the Torres Strait Regional Adaptation and Resilience Plan 2016-2021.31
10.25
Ms Lucy Graham, Director, Cairns and Far North Environment Centre, described to the committee the risks posed to coastal communities by rising sea levels:
in northern Australia we are facing some really scary realities around the future of our cities because of sea level rise, coastal inundation and coastal erosion. A lot of the conversation at the moment is around hard infrastructure—seawalls and levees. If you do the research and you look at where this has been done internationally, you're looking at New Orleans. They built seawalls, they built levees and they created a puddle, because the majority of the city was below sea level. Cairns is mostly at sea level or a tiny bit above it. If we are investing in that hard infrastructure, we are potentially putting ourselves in a very serious situation. If we invest in these solutions around habitat restoration, talking about natural solutions, how we manage our environment positively and making sure that we're using the ecosystem services that these environments can provide, I think we're preparing ourselves for a much brighter future.32
10.26
Ms Graham further noted that 'the northern Australia agenda has a real opportunity to be part of that hazard mitigation'.33
10.27
Additionally, the risks posed by climate change are having an impact on communities in the present. Mr Matthew Tickner, Vice President, Cairns Chamber of Commerce, described how people living in Cairns had seen their insurance premiums 'skyrocket' following the publication of storm surge maps that indicated that a greater number of properties may be at risk.34
10.28
In discussing this issue, Mr Mark Leplastrier, Executive Manager, Natural Perils, Insurance Australia Group, outlined why increased risk to infrastructure due to climate change would cause increased cost and why there was a need for increased resilience now:
Insurance premiums reflect the underlying risk. As a general call-out for climate change and how it affects severe weather just generally around the country, there is a shift to the more intense events going forward. If we don't combat that with a program of work in reducing risk through retrofitting schemes and improving land planning and building codes that actually tackle resilience, we will see a creep in the risk going forward. Increasing background risk caused by more severe weather events without reducing that through the built environment means that we will see an increase in premiums.35
10.29
Given that on-the-ground increases in insurance premiums are already occurring regarding natural disasters in Northern Australia—both those that have actually occurred and those that are forecasted—it is critical that action be undertaken to develop greater resilience in infrastructure and communities in order to mitigate the serious, long-term risks posed by climate change.
10.30
As noted above, while the Australian Government previously supported the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, which supported decision makers throughout Australia as they prepared for and managed the risks of climate change and sea-level rise, funding for the facility did not continue past 2019.36 This represents a substantial lost opportunity for the facility to continue its research and work in the area of climate adaption and the mitigation of the risks posed by climate change.

Biosecurity

10.31
The White Paper describes Northern Australia as 'the frontline for our nation’s defence, border protection and biosecurity', stating:
Its proximity to our neighbours gives it a crucial role in helping to protect Australia’s environment, population and agricultural industries, and to maintain and increase access to markets by managing pest and disease risks.37
10.32
Biosecurity is a responsibility shared by across governments. Currently, the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB) seeks to strengthen Australia’s biosecurity system and enhance national collaboration among Australian governments to meet current and future biosecurity challenges. Functionally, the IGAB:
sets out biosecurity commitments for the Australian Government, and state and territory governments;
outlines the agreed national goals and objectives; and
clarifies roles, responsibilities and governance arrangements.38
10.33
Additionally, the National Biosecurity Committee provides advice on national biosecurity to responsible ministers, as well as regular reporting on its work program and progress of IGAB commitments.39
10.34
Submitters to the committee emphasised the importance of maintaining the biosecurity of the Northern Australia. The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER) submitted that:
The clean, pest and disease free status of Australia is one of the nation’s greatest assets and gives the north a competitive edge in a global market where quality and safety is highly valued. The Australian Government has invested $200 million into biosecurity across Australia to protect our farmers and all Australians, through the Northern Australia Biosecurity Framework. This investment includes support to ensure our northern barrier remains intact with $12.4 million to expand biosecurity activities by Indigenous ranger groups in northern Australia.40
10.35
Maintaining biosecurity is of particular interest to the agricultural sector. The Red Meat Advisory Council submitted that biosecurity was a critical challenge for agricultural development.41 Ms Patricia O'Callaghan, Chief Executive Officer, Townsville Enterprise Limited, likewise identified biosecurity as an ongoing challenge for the region.42 Mr Ry Collins, Project Coordinator, Economic Development, Whitsunday Regional Council, described the importance of biosecurity to his region:
Obviously, anything within that spectrum of biosecurity is an issue of increasing concern in our region with the strong agricultural industry. We really look to protect the product of the region from potential biosecurity hazards yet engage in a system that allows us to remain competitive in production and also in the supply chain.43
10.36
Mr Collins also noted that he would be supportive of further Commonwealth initiatives in the area of biosecurity:
With respect to legislation or systems in that space, the council supports further Commonwealth initiatives that may improve biosecurity in northern Australia for potentially hazardous imported products that may require quarantine and implementing any initiatives that may improve or streamline the regulatory process domestically, such as increased collaboration between state and federal governments or standardisation of legislation in that sector.44
10.37
Dr Chris Chilcott, Deputy Director Operations, Research Leader Northern Australian Development, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), described how CSIRO has been assisting the states and territories with developing surveillance programs to assess where there are risks from incursions from undesirable flora, fauna and disease.45

River systems

10.38
While chapter 4 discussed water infrastructure, this section of the report considers the environmental sustainability of river systems and the need for a balance to be struck between economic outcomes and long-term environmentally sustainability. Some significant river systems in the area include the Mitchell River, Burdekin River, catchments within the Cape York Peninsula, Ord River, Victoria River, the Fitzroy River basin, and the La Grange groundwater area. Additionally, Northern Australia's tropical climate is unique for the extremely high variability of rainfall between seasons and especially between years.
10.39
The White Paper notes the particular importance of river systems to the Northern Australia region:
Both surface and ground water in northern Australia serves a variety of functions, including cultural and spiritual use by Indigenous communities. River flows and groundwater are vital for supporting natural environments as well as other productive uses. They provide opportunities to supply water to growing regional and urban communities and for new and existing industries.46
10.40
The CSIRO's Northern Australia Water Resource Assessment (NARWA) investigated the potential of Northern Australia's water resources to support increased regional development in the Fizroy, Darwin and Mitchell catchments. The NARWA found that:
the Fitzroy, Darwin and Mitchell catchments differ significantly in their physical and social characteristics and, as a consequence, the extent to and methods by which agricultural development might occur;
in the Fitzroy catchment, water harvesting (water pumped into ringtanks) could potentially support 160,000 hectares growing one dry-season crop a year in 85 per cent of years and that, independent of surface water, groundwater could potentially support up to 30,000 ha of hay production in all years;
in the Darwin catchments, a combination of major dams, farm-scale offstream storage and groundwater could potentially support up to 90,000 hectares of dry-season horticulture and mango trees; and
in the Mitchell catchment, large instream dams could potentially support 140,000 ha of year-round irrigation. Alternatively, water harvesting could potentially enable up to 200,000 hectares, growing one dry-season crop per year.47
10.41
The NAWRA was designed to 'explicitly address the needs of and aspirations for local development by providing an objective assessment of resource availability, with consideration of environmental and cultural issues'.48
10.42
Such economic development of river systems does not come without risks. Changes to the Fitzroy catchment could impact the Geikie Gorge, Camballin Floodplain and Gladstone Lake, as well as the nearby King Sound. In its report on the area, the CSIRO discussed the risks to the marine environment, biosecurity concerns, potential changes the sediment, nutrients and agropollutant loads, and the risk of irrigation-induced salinity.49 Similar issues were raised in the Darwin catchment assessment50 and the Mitchell catchment.51 Indeed, the risks were not only hypothetical: an event occurred in December 2018 that resulted in the death of more than 40 sawfish on a stretch of the Fitzroy River.52
10.43
In giving evidence to the committee, Dr Chris Chilcott, Deputy Director Operations, Research Leader Northern Australian Development, CSIRO, discussed the difficulties in undertaking such assessments:
On the water resource assessments, because we were looking at opportunity, we did look at what the potential impacts would be. There isn't a lot known about the impact pathways—so, what would happen, if you developed something, to the populations within the aquatic systems. So, inasmuch as we could, we documented the impact pathways and looked at: 'If you took a certain amount of water out of a river system, how would that then impact on particular species?' That was as detailed as possible, given the limited amount of information that's known in these areas and also the limited amount of water that's taken out of many of these rivers. So it wasn't always clear what those impacts would be, but we tried to document those as much as possible.53
10.44
Several submitters raised serious concerns about the environmental, social and cultural heritage risks that could arise from the overuse of water flow in Northern Australia. These concerns are set out in more detail in chapter 4. That chapter also notes the economic risks posed to certain industries (such as fisheries) from overuse of water by other industries.
10.45
Indeed, maintaining the health of river systems is also important to achieving desired economic outcomes. AgForce Queensland Farmers noted its support for ongoing research into water sustainability:
Water investment and agricultural development opportunities need to be guided by objective, scientific information from robust resource assessments and associated feasibility studies in order to reduce the risks for investors and the environment. AgForce has supported the Northern Water Resource Assessments by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), particularly concerning the Mitchell River Basin and other earlier studies on the Gulf Rivers in Queensland. These assessments have identified agricultural development opportunities worthy of further investigation and supported industry responses to state government planning policies for Cape York Peninsula.54
10.46
The committee notes the importance of thorough, ongoing assessments of river and water catchment health in Northern Australia. Given the scarcity of water in some parts of the region, as well as the seasonal volatility that can occur, ongoing assessment and research into Northern Australia's river systems ought to be of the utmost importance.
10.47
In addition, for the reasons set out above and in chapter 4, it is critical that any new water infrastructure or allocations in Northern Australia carefully manage any potential environmental, social, cultural or economic risks.

  • 1
    Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER), Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, June 2015, p. 4. See also p. 149
  • 2
    DISER, Progress update: meeting measures on the Our North Our Future White Paper, 19 August 2020, https://www.industry.gov.au/news-media/progress-update-meeting-measures-on-the-our-north-our-future-white-paper, accessed 23 April 2021.
  • 3
    DISER, Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, June 2015, p. 4. See also p. 58.
  • 4
    DISER, Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, June 2015, p. 4. See also p. 67.
  • 5
    DISER, Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, June 2015, p. 4. See also p. 74.
  • 6
    DISER, Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, June 2015, p. 4. See also p. 76.
  • 7
    DISER, Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, June 2015, p. 4. See also pp. 147-148.
  • 8
    DISER, Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, June 2015, p. 4. See also p. 77 and pp. 149-150.
  • 9
    Australian Government | National Landcare Program, 'National Landcare Program Phase Two', http://www.nrm.gov.au/national-landcare-program, accessed 23 April 2021.
  • 10
    Australian Government | National Landcare Program, 'National Landcare Program Phase Two', http://www.nrm.gov.au/national-landcare-program, accessed 23 April 2021.
  • 11
    Australian Government | Bioregional Assessments, 'Geological and Bioregional Assessment Program', https://www.bioregionalassessments.gov.au/gba, accessed 23 April 2021.
  • 12
    Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE), 'The Reef Trust', https://www.environment.gov.au/marine/gbr/reef-trust, accessed 23 April 2021.
  • 13
    DISER, Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, June 2015, p. 4. See also p. 67.
  • 14
    DISER, 'National Environmental Science Program', https://www.environment.gov.au/science/nesp, accessed 23 April 2021.
  • 15
    DISER, Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, June 2015, p. 4. See also p. 156.
  • 16
    National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, 'About NCCARF', https://nccarf.edu.au/, accessed 23 April 2021.
  • 17
    Wet Tropics Management Authority (WTMA), Submission 16, p. 8.
  • 18
    Wet Tropics Management Authority (WTMA), Submission 16, p. 1.
  • 19
    WTMA, Submission 16, p. 2.
  • 20
    Darwin Major Business Group, Submission 72, p. 4.
  • 21
    Darwin Major Business Group, Submission 72, p. 4.
  • 22
    Department of Home Affairs, Submission 32, p. 9.
  • 23
    Department of Home Affairs, Submission 32, p. 9.
  • 24
    National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, 'About NCCARF', https://nccarf.edu.au/, accessed 23 April 2021. See DISER, Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, June 2015, p. 156 for the White Paper's reference to the program.
  • 25
    DISER, Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, June 2015, p. 148.
  • 26
    Dr Kamaljit Sangha and Professor Jeremy Russell-Smith, Submission 11, p. 3.
  • 27
    Dr David Kault, Submission 12, p. 2. See also Australian Fresh Produce Alliance, Submission 99, p. 3.
  • 28
    Australian Institute of Marine Science, Submission 19, p. 4; and Dr Paul Hardisty, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Committee Hansard, Townsville, 9 October 2019, pp. 46-47 and p. 51.
  • 29
    See Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Submission 25, p. 9.
  • 30
    Mr Phillemon Mosby, Mayor, Torres Strait Island Regional Council, Committee Hansard, Thursday Island, 16 December 2020, p. 24.
  • 31
    Mrs Vonda Malone, Mayor, Torres Shire Council, Committee Hansard, Thursday Island, 16 December 2020, p. 32.
  • 32
    Ms Lucy Graham, Director, Cairns and Far North Environment Centre, Committee Hansard, Cairns, 15 December 2020, pp. 60-61.
  • 33
    Ms Lucy Graham, Director, Cairns and Far North Environment Centre, Committee Hansard, Cairns, 15 December 2020, p. 61.
  • 34
    Mr Matthew Tickner, Vice President, Cairns Chamber of Commerce, Committee Hansard, Townsville, 12 March 2021, p. 11 and p. 20.
  • 35
    Mr Mark Leplastrier, Executive Manager, Natural Perils, Insurance Australia Group, Committee Hansard, Townsville, 12 March 2021, pp. 31-32.
  • 36
    National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, 'About NCCARF', https://nccarf.edu.au/, accessed 23 April 2021.
  • 37
    DISER, Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, June 2015, p. 4. See also p. 2.
  • 38
    DAWE, 'Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB)', https://www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity/partnerships/nbc/intergovernmental-agreement-on-biosecurity, accessed 23 April 2021.
  • 39
    DAWE, 'Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB)', https://www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity/partnerships/nbc/intergovernmental-agreement-on-biosecurity, accessed 23 April 2021.
  • 40
    DISER, Submission 30, p. 9
  • 41
    Red Meat Advisory Council, Submission 96, p. 2.
  • 42
    Ms Patricia O'Callaghan, Chief Executive Officer, Townsville Enterprise Limited, Committee Hansard, Townsville, 9 October 2019, p. 3.
  • 43
    Mr Ry Collins, Project Coordinator, Economic Development, Whitsunday Regional Council, Committee Hansard, Mackay, 12 March 2020, p. 4.
  • 44
    Mr Collins, Whitsunday Regional Council, Committee Hansard, Mackay, 12 March 2020, p. 4.
  • 45
    Dr Chris Chilcott, Deputy Director Operations, Research Leader Northern Australian Development, CSIRO, Committee Hansard, Canberra, 3 July 2020, p. 2.
  • 46
    DISER, Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, June 2015, p. 4. See also p. 40. For more on the First Nations ranger program, see chapter 6.
  • 47
    Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), NARWA Overview and findings, https://www.csiro.au/en/research/natural-environment/water/NAWRA/Overview, accessed 23 April 2021.
  • 48
    CSIRO, Water resource assessment for the Fitzroy catchment, June 2018, p. 5.
  • 49
    CSIRO, Water resource assessment for the Fitzroy catchment, June 2018, p. 348.
  • 50
    CSIRO, Water resource assessment for the Darwin catchment, June 2018, p. 373-374.
  • 51
    CSIRO, Water resource assessment for the Mitchell catchment, June 2018, pp. 369-371.
  • 52
    CSIRO, Answer to question on notice taken at the public hearing on 3 July 2020, p. 16.
  • 53
    Dr Chris Chilcott, Deputy Director Operations, Research Leader Northern Australian Development, CSIRO, Committee Hansard, Canberra, 3 July 2020, p. 8.
  • 54
    AgForce Queensland Farmers, Submission 83, p. 2.

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