Our Principles & Goals

Our guiding principles

  • A resilient, diverse and sustainable economy for Northern Australia is necessary to underpin the wellbeing of its communities, the long-term management of its resources, and its contribution to Australian and global society.
  • Northern Australia’s unique, intact and globally-significant natural and cultural values must be recognised, utilised and safeguarded as central to its future.
  • Indigenous interests must be accepted, and northern development and socio-economic development must be pursued together, since neither is sustainable, nor equitable, without the other.
  • Development and conservation options must involve genuine collaboration with local communities and be compatible with local cultures and conditions. Both require the free, prior and informed consent of owners and managers, including those recognised under customary law.


Our big picture goal areas

Within 5 years:

  1. there is widespread agreement across multiple regions and multiple sectors on what a successful future for the North looks like, and ways to achieve it, and support for a shared statement or accord that articulates this.
  2. the multiple benefits of a healthy intact savanna are extensively recognised, and funding for this land and water management work, especially Indigenous programs, is ongoing, more diversely sourced and expanding.
  3. regional communities are well informed about future possibilities and supported to undertake placed-based planning to guide development and conservation. They have better tools to identify, attract and explore opportunities that a) create enduring local employment opportunities and economic independence, b) strengthen communities, c)  maintain and enhance natural and cultural values.


Within 10 years:

  1. most Northern Australian landholders/managers have fewer weeds and ferals on their land, fire, water and soil are well managed, and the declining trend of biodiversity across the North, especially of small mammals, is halted or reversed.
  2. new and existing businesses meet  shared sustainability criteria that uphold the North’s clean, green credentials, community enterprises are growing, a market for ecosystem services has  evolved, and inappropriate developments are avoided.
  3. new reserves, Indigenous Protected Areas and other protections are established with community support for agreed priority areas.


Within 20 years:

  1. resilient, diverse and sustainable industries and enterprises are prospering across the North and are demonstrating world leading social, environmental and cultural practices. Regional employment opportunities in such economies have increased significantly as have community wellbeing and land and water stewardship.
  2. an intact savanna of diverse tenures, that includes and links landscapes of particularly high conservation value, is being effectively managed so that natural and cultural values are protected and multiple ecosystem services are provided to communities and businesses. It is recognised, used and celebrated as the world’s greatest tropical savanna.