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Marine Estate survey findings released

THE Marine Estate Management Authority this week released the initial findings from a survey on how the NSW community and visitors to the coast view the marine estate.

“The Authority is now seeking feedback from the community on these initial findings about the values, benefits, threats and opportunities for the marine estate – which includes our ocean, estuaries, coastal wetlands, coastline and coastal lakes and lagoons,” Authority Chair Dr Wendy Craik said.

“The initial findings are from interviews with 36 key marine estate interest groups and 70 community members from seven regional focus groups conducted across NSW.

“It is important to let everyone view the initial results and add any new views or ideas which may not have been identified so far.

“We want to ensure the Authority understands what the broader community really thinks about the marine estate which is such a valuable asset to the people of NSW.”

A summary report and on-line survey are now available at www.marine.nsw.gov.au where people can review the initial findings and to add their views and ideas. Responses via the online survey will close on 8th June 2014.

Dr Craik said the current survey was Stage Two of a major three-stage social research project to ensure the community’s views are taken into account in future reforms of the marine estate.

• Stage One is completed and involved interviews with representatives from Aboriginal
communities, Chambers of Commerce, commercial and recreational fishing, conservation and education interests, diving, maritime industries and users, a ports authority, surf life saving, surfing and tourism from Sydney and coastal regional locations. Seven focus groups were also conducted in January 2014 at Lismore, Coffs Harbour, Newcastle, Sydney, Batemans Bay, Eden and Orange to seek a cross section of community views from those who either live near or visit the coast.

Download the report on Stage 1 findings of the survey HERE.

• Stage Two involves the current on-line survey seeking feedback on findings in Stage One.

• In Stage Three, Sweeney Research has been commissioned to survey 1,000 randomly
selected people from across NSW and 700 residents and visitors at seven coastal
locations. The results from all three stages of the community survey will be used to inform decision-making for future marine estate reforms projects including the proposed Marine Estate Management Act and Regulations, threat and risk assessment processes, new management plans for marine parks and the Marine Estate Management Strategy.

Further information is available at www.marine.nsw.gov.au, where the paper and on-line survey are available to view or download.

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