The potential role for market-based instruments in reducing pollution loads entering Darwin Harbour

  • Glen Patrick Speering

    Student thesis: Coursework Masters - CDU


    A literature review was conducted to explore the potential role that Market-based instruments (MBIs) could have in the reduction of pollution loads entering the surface waters of Darwin Harbour. Darwin Harbour is a largely pristine estuarine system, with a variety of land uses within the catchment area.

    In order to understand the role MBIs could play in pollution reduction in the Darwin Harbour, the Darwin Harbour and catchment area is defined. The policy background and current management framework is described.

    A comprehensive pollution and polluter analysis was conducted in order to assign effective MBIs for implementation to address pollution problems. This analysis presented the current level of knowledge regarding pollution sources, types and pathways in the Darwin Harbour catchment. Pollution sources are likely to be varied, due to the heterogeneity of catchment development. However, the majority of pollution originates from the urban areas as diffuse pollution, or is generated in the home environment. Research gaps in the Darwin Harbour were also identified.

    A discussion of the effectiveness and efficiency of MBIs in addressing pollution is given. Some price-based and rights-based instruments are already in operation within the Darwin Harbour catchment. Existing research indicates that addressing water quality pollution through the implementation of MBIs is most effective with price-based instruments. MBIs are also found to be most effective when implemented with effective regulatory measures.

    A synthesis is given matching MBIs with pollution sources, types and pathways in the Darwin Harbour catchment. Price-based instruments are most likely to provide an effective outcome for pollution reduction in the Darwin Harbour. Price-based instruments are also most likely to achieve goals and strategies set out by the Northern Territory Government.
    These instruments can also be utilised to capture the majority of polluters and pollution entering Darwin Harbour. Information-based MBIs are also likely to be effective in reducing pollution loads entering Darwin Harbour. In many cases, these will not add a substantial cost to the Northern Territory Government or to the residents of Darwin. Information-based MBIs will also be effective when used in conjunction with many other MBIs. Rights-based MBIs that are already in existence are recommended for expansion and remodelling for more effective pollution reduction. Quantity and rights-based MBIs require more investigation before they can be effectively implemented.

    MBIs are found to require a significant support structure for effective implementation in the Darwin Harbour catchment. Much of this is already in existence. However, any funds raised due to the MBIs require a co-ordinating body to ensure that MBIs achieve maximum effectiveness in reducing pollution entering Darwin Harbour.
    Date of Award2013
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorRomy Greiner (Supervisor), Penny Wurm (Supervisor) & Owen Stanley (Supervisor)

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