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The Sydney and Hawkesbury Bioregion’s incredible coasts and ocean are at the heart of our enviable lifestyle. Our beaches, bays and waterways are truly iconic, and are renowned for their beauty both above and below the water.
A science based multi-use Marine Park for the whole Sydney region will secure a healthy, productive, and sustainable marine systems for our marine based lifestyle including boating, swimming, surfing, fishing and just enjoying our beaches, bays and waters lifestyle.
However, under the mechanism for achieving such protection, the NSW Marine Parks Act there is one huge impediment to achieving worlds best practice science based marine conservation and protection, the lack of legislated two phase consultation programs & specified appropriate periods for consultation.
The Act was originally proposed to mirror to a large degree the Great Barrier Reef Marine Parks Act which had two formal consultation periods or phases which have lead the best Marine Park planning and management system on the world.
The first phase was before the development of the draft plan to clearly identify the ecosystems, habitats and biodiversity and their scientific value, and clearly identify all usage inc. commercial, recreational, and scientific plus give the public the opportunity to have initial input & get a clear understanding of what is being proposed.
The second formal consultation phase followed the development of a draft plan using all the information gathered in addition to additional consultation with key stakeholders to clarify and fine tune the draft plan for release. The draft plan also included clear justifications for decisions and the process that had been used to develop the draft plan. The Marine Park Act must be undated.
The proposed consultation period for this current process is woefully inadequate and far too short to cover the state’s largest population centres and facilitate sufficient high level and comprehensive public input. To adequately cover the entire coastline of the proposed marine park areas the current number of available and sufficiently trained staff will result in a poor consultation outcome that will alienates many stakeholders
We deserve a Marine Park developed through appropriate, comprehensive, and relevant consultation process that allows everyone to have an input and demonstrates to the world that we use worlds best practice, base decisions on science and knowledge and how much we love and value our marine life, habitats and ecosystems and our coastal lifestyle and activities and that we are serious about ensuring the ongoing protection and sustainability of what we love.
Something many fishermen are resistant to acknowledge is that the presence of sanctuaries provides a reservoir or nursery of fish habitat that can regenerate and refresh adjacent fishing zones. It’s time to put this science into place for the benefit of all marine users and enthusiasts.👍👍🐠🎣🏊🐳
Use these surplus funds to make our economic powerhouses (cities) more desirable to live in.
Those of us living on the edges of such a Marine Park (Wollongong in this case) will also benefit.