Scott Creek

Bordered by the Northern Territory’s iconic Katherine, Daly and Flora rivers, Scott Creek Station is over a hundred thousand hectares of savanna woodland.  

The intricate ecosystem with an understory of native grasses, rocky outcrops and lush greenery on the rivers’ edge is a safe haven for wildlife on the brink including Gouldian Finches and Freshwater Sawfish.  

Yet Argentinian corporation, Cross Pacific Investments, plan to raze more than 4,900 hectares of this vital ecosystem to grow cotton and other crops.  

The NT Pastoral Land Board has already stamped permits for Cross Pacific Investment to bulldoze 2961 hectares, while another permit for 1955 hectares awaits decision.  

Where is Scott Creek?

Scott Creek Station lies 70 kilometres west of Katherine along the Victoria Highway surrounded by the Katherine, Daly and Flora rivers.  

Why is Scott Creek significant?

Spectacular Wildlife

Scott Creek Station is likely home to many incredible creatures already under threat, including Gouldian Finches, Ghost Bats, Freshwater sawfish, Grey Falcons and Australian Painted Snipes. 

Delicate ecosystems

Scott Creek Station is a diverse and complex ecosystem from vibrant greenery to rocky ridges, each element is intricately connected.  


Argentinian corporation, Cross Pacific Investments, acquired the pastoral lease at Scott Creek in 2019. It also holds the lease at nearby Manbulloo Station. 

The corporation has applied for numerous permits to raze more than 4,900 hectares of savanna at Scott Creek to farm cotton and other crops. 

The NT Pastoral Land Board has already stamped permits for Cross Pacific Investment to bulldoze 2961 hectares, while another permit for 1955 hectares awaits decision (see the permits here and here). 

The savanna is in an area of high conservation significance, near the confluence of the Flora and Katherine rivers, with abundant eucalypt woodlands, native grasslands, rocky outcrops and riparian vegetation along the creeks and rivers.

Experts are concerned razing the savannah here will cause huge cumulative impacts on local and regional biodiversity and threatened species, like Gouldian Finches, Ghost Bats and Freshwater sawfish.

The land clearing also risks significant sedimentation and run-off into important river systems, as well as chemical run-off into the Tindall Aquifier.

There are likely to be sacred sites in the area to be cleared.

However the corporation has done no biodiversity assessments, or sought approval under the Northern Territory Sacred Sites Act 1989 (NT).


Unlike every other state and territory in Australia, the NT does not have specific native vegetation laws.

The vast majority of broadscale land clearing is occurring on pastoral leases, which make up approximately 45% of land in the NT.

In four years, land approved for clearing surged by around 300%.

Land clearing on pastoral leases is regulated under the Pastoral Land Act 1992 (NT).

In the NT, pastoral leaseholders are allowed to apply for a permit to clear up to 5,000 hectares of land before the application must be referred to the Environment Protection Authority for a decision on whether environmental impact assessment is required.


EJA lawyers are keeping a close eye on plans to bulldoze savanna at Scott Creek and other culturally significant and ecologically important pastoral leases in the NT.

We are concerned the NT government is rubber stamping permits and turning a blind eye, as big cotton and industrial agriculture companies razed 8,926 MCG fields worth of savanna in 2022 alone.

We are also investigating possible illegal land clearing in the NT, and pushing the federal government to properly assess the environmental impact of land clearing under our federal environmental laws.

We are currently in the NT Supreme Court challenging a decision to let a huge multinational corporation bulldoze over 900 hectares of important savanna woodlands at Auvergene Station, on behalf of our client the Environment Centre of the Northern Territory (ECNT).

This case is the first time a court will test the NT’s land clearing laws in the Pastoral Land Act. A successful outcome will set a vital precedent preventing other commercial cotton producers from bulldozing critical savanna ecosystems without proper scrutiny.

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