The Ord River was targeted for agricultural expansion in the 20th century.
Ever since British settlement, water rights in Australia's north have favoured landowners over traditional owners, effectively locking Aboriginal people out of agricultural development.
Clean water can help to break the link between poor hygiene and eye diseases such as trachoma.
Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA)
As Australia joins a New York summit to discuss the UN Sustainable Development Goals, it still faces questions over whether it is meeting water standards at home.
Coping with floods is just one of the issues dams need to deal with.
The development of northern Australia will depend on harnessing water resources.
Not everyone can see past the hard stare and sharp teeth of crocodiles.
The easiest way to keep people safe around crocodiles is to make sure they understand the risks.
Mining is the biggest activity on Cape York - but is it the best way to use the land?
Weipa image from www.shutterstock.com
Cape York's ecosystems are worth as much as the Queensland economy.
The new assistant minister for cities, Angus Taylor, has expressed a ‘deep belief that consultation and proper public debate gets to wise outcomes’.
Effective development planning must anticipate where growth might occur and its wider impacts. So, if the federal government is serious about cities policy, it needs a proper settlements plan.
Northern rivers could increase Australia’s irrigated land by 50%. But we need to think about the environmental impacts.
It's full steam ahead for bringing vast increases in farming to northern Australia. In fact, probably too fast to adequately consider the environmental impacts.
The remote rivers of northern Australia could be home to untold numbers of new and threatened fish.
Matthew Le Feuvre
A score of new fish species discovered recently in northern Australia remind us how little we know about our country.
Huge fires in September and October burn the most land in northern Australia.
More land is burned in northern Australia during August and October than any other time of the year, and it's not just a natural disaster.
An historian reading the government White Paper on developing northern Australia will realise we’re actually heading all the way back to the 1890s.
The federal government's recent White Paper on developing northern Australia has disturbing echoes of the 1890s, a time when unbridled capitalism and indentured labour developed the North.
The north may be pleasant now, but climate change may make it less so.
The recently released white paper on developing northern Australia ignores an elephant in the room: climate change. While the paper sees a bright future for the north (roads, rail, dams and food), without considering climate change we can't be sure the north will even be liveable.
The white paper on developing northern Australia outlines a solid vision - now for action.
The White Paper on Developing Northern Australia represents the most comprehensive attempt yet to think through the development possibilities of the north.
Tony Abbott: ‘We can encourage jobs and tackle the costs of living far away from major cities’.
A 20-year roadmap to boost northern Australia's development and investment will be unveiled by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Looking over Palmerston and the East Arm of Darwin Harbour to the new $35B Inpex LNG plant. Many resources projects in the north are in beautiful, environmentally important places.
This year's federal budget outlined plans for infrastructure in northern Australia, but it will need to do more than build roads and rail to sustainably develop the north.
More mines, more roads, as the government puts its drive towards economic development ahead of all else.
AAP Image/Alan Porritt
Amid talk of paths to surplus and investing in infrastructure, both sides of politics seem to have forgotten Australia's longstanding responsibility to govern sustainably, and not just for the economy.
Not at loggerheads: jobs and the environment can coexist in Queensland’s north.
Willem van Aken/CSIRO/Wikimedia Commons
Do politicians really have to choose between being pro-development or pro-environment? No, says Allan Dale, and Queensland's new government has the chance to prove it.
Cane toads are still spreading across northern Australia.
Cane toads, introduced in 1935 to control cane beetles, have now spread across a huge swathe of Australia, from the Kimberley in northern Western Australia to northern New South Wales. They’re still spreading…
King tides are just one of the threats faced by the people of Saibai Island in the Torres Strait, as a result of climate change.
While you may have heard about the increasing threat that climate change and rising seas pose to Pacific islands — already forcing some communities to move — Australia has its own group of islands that…
Indigenous rangers at the Fish River Station in the Northern Territory.
Indigenous Land Corporation
There are places in Australia that are awe-inspiring, spectacular, mysterious; they touch our spirit and help define our nation. Kakadu is one, Uluru another, the magnificent red sandy deserts, the Kimberley…
Right idea, wrong execution: the Ord River irrigation scheme needed better surrounding infrastructure.
It’s perhaps fitting that mining magnate Andrew Forrest is in the vanguard of a move to position Australia as a major food supplier to China. Fitting, because if the plan is to work, Australian agriculture…