With revelations that a deep sea port has been built on the Tiwi Islands off Darwin without environmental assessment, the Australian Greens are urging the federal government to act.
"It is staggering that this deep sea port has been built on the beautiful Tiwi Islands, habitat to internationally significant and endangered plants and animals, without the federal environment department being alerted," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.
"The Territory government hasn't even completed an assessment of the environmental impacts, which given the high conservation value of this ecosystem are likely to be devastating.
"Alarmingly, it appears federal government has had no involvement, although the Tiwi Islands are habitat to turtle and bird species of international significance, which should trigger a referral under federal environment law.
"It's disgraceful that the complete lack of environmental assessment is only coming to light after some of the damage has likely been done.
"This case clearly shows what a disaster it would be if the Abbott Government was able to proceed with its plan to hand federal environmental approval powers to states and territories.
"Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt must immediately call in the project and prosecute the company for any breaches of our national environment laws.
"I commend the Northern Territory Environmental Defenders' Office for standing against this outrageous non-compliance with environmental law.
"Environmental Defenders' Offices are admirably carrying on with their valuable work thanks to the support of public donations after the Abbott Government disgracefully stripped away all of the EDOs' federal funding," Senator Waters said.