Environment

Federal marine parks consultation period ends

THE public consultation period for the Federal Government’s draft marine bioregional plans and the proposed marine reserves for all regions has now closed.

The government received over 70,000 submissions during the process, in relation to its proposed series of marine parks in Australia’s North, North-west and South-west regions.

According to a press statement, the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities is now considering all submissions as part of finalising advice to the Minister, Tony Burke, about options for changes to the draft bioregional plans and marine reserves. A key input to the Government’s decisions on the final marine reserves will be the work by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resources Economics and Sciences (ABARES) to assess the socio-economic impacts of the proposed marine reserves.

The Government is expected to finalise the Commonwealth waters marine reserves system by the end of 2012. One further round of public consultation on final marine reserves proposals will be held later in 2012 once the marine reserves proposals are finalised by the Government.

The overview reports, summarising all submissions received in the South-west, North and North-west are complete and available on the department’s website – see links below.

The government says feedback has been wide-ranging, exploring many topics related to the draft marine bioregional plans and the proposed marine reserves for each region. Overview reports and submissions for the Temperate East and Coral Sea marine reserves will be made available on the website once their assessments have been finalised.

Marine Bioregional Planning in the South-west – Overview of Public Consultation – HERE

Marine Bioregional Planning in the North-west – Overview of Public Consultation – HERE

Marine Bioregional Planning in the North – Overview of Public Consultation – HERE

More information on marine bioregional planning can be found at: www.environment.gov.au/coasts/mbp

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