27 February 2024

Casuarina Coastal Reserve set to become Northern Territory's newest national park

| James Day
Start the conversation
three people standing in a park

Member for Casuarina Lauren Moss (left), Larrakia Nation chair Jerome Cubillo and Minister for Parks and Rangers Selena Uibo at Casuarina Coastal Reserve. Photo: NT Government.

Within only a 20-minute drive of Darwin’s CBD is the Northern Territory’s newest national park, which will be expanded to ensure protection of the region’s most iconic endangered species.

Casuarina Coastal Reserve will gain the 34-hectare Lot 9458 so park rangers can manage its dry monsoonal rainforest. It provides a home to the black-footed tree-rat and Croton habrophyllus, the host plant for the endangered Atlas moth.

It’s also supposed to provide an improved connection with the neighbouring Buffalo Creek Management Area, owned by the Commonwealth and managed by Parks and Wildlife.

READ ALSO Territory businesses invited to share ideas through a series of regional summits

The reserve is one of the region’s most popular parks, with more than a million visitors each year coming to witness the estuaries of Rapid and Buffalo Creek.

The park expansion announcement was made in Chief Minister Eva Lawler’s ”Year Ahead” speech.

She said the Territory Government already had begun the process of turning the reserve into a national park, such that Parks and Wildlife was authorised to ensure its protection and management.

Its new status will constrain the type of development that could occur on the land, and provide safeguards so that any proposal will be in line with the park’s values.

Member for Casuarina Lauren Moss said the reserve was a beloved urban public asset, which was important for improved health and wellness, recreation opportunities, mitigating the effects of climate change, and providing wildlife havens.

READ ALSO Gilmour Space secures additional funding as it counts down to first Australian-designed rocket launch

Before its official declaration as a national park, the public has been invited to give input via Have Your Say before applications close on 22 April.

This part of the review and inclusion of Lot 9458 is to bring management under the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1976 (TPWCA), as it’s currently under the Crown Lands Act 1992 (CLA).

A statutory Plan of Management will be developed for a public comment period so Territorians can speak on future management and suggest possible future names for the newly declared park.

A map of a coastal reserve, with a legend listing facilities

A map of the Casuarina Coastal Reserve, which is just north of Darwin. Photo: NT Government.

Minister for Parks and Rangers Selena Uibo said it had been eight years since this last happened, and she encouraged everyone to get involved.

“The Territory Labor Government is dedicated to safeguarding our most precious coastal and rainforest environments,” Ms Uibo said.

“I am proud that our government is committed to building a voice for Larrakia, as the traditional owners of Darwin, in partnership management of the new park.”

Future consultation processes will also be involved with recreation, nature appreciation, scientific research and conservation. But first up is an outline of the natural, cultural and recreational values of the reserve.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.