Marine Parks Review Panel appointed

THE NSW Government has set up an Independent Scientific Audit Panel for Marine Parks.

In announcing the panel this week the Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson
said Associate Professor Robert Beeton will Chair the group, which will play an important role in ensuring there is the right balance between the sustainable use of the marine environment and the conservation of marine biodiversity.

“The experts who make up this Panel are well known for their achievements in fisheries science, marine biodiversity conservation, and social and economic evaluation. The NSW Liberals & Nationals election commitment was to implement a Marine Parks Policy that is based on science,” Minister Hodgkinson said.

“This independent scientific audit will follow a proven and transparent process that ensures the delivery of evidence-based outcomes. We have gone to great lengths to ensure that all aspects of this review are arms length from government, including the formation of an independent secretariat to support the Audit Panel,” said NSW Minister for the Environment, Robyn Parker.

“The review will be a completely transparent process so that members of the public will be able to review the scientific evidence and the reasoning behind the panel’s final recommendations,” Minister Parker added.

Fishing World understands that Robert Brown MLC and the Shooters and Fishers Party carried out significant work “behind the scenes” to ensure the review panel came to fruition. Brown is urging fishos to stay tuned to the SaveSol and SaveJB websites, which will soon feature information to assist with submissions.

Interested parties are invited to provide written submissions addressing one or more of the terms of reference. Submissions close on 30 September 2011 and can be made online at www.marineparkaudit.nsw.gov.au from Monday August 15 – more information on the review and members of the panel can be found also at the website.

The Independent Scientific Audit of Marine Parks in NSW is due to be completed by December 31, 2011.

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