Here, we comment on the New South Wales Government’s decision to abandon sanctuary zones in the proposed Hawkesbury Shelf Marine Bioregion. We briefly note our objections to the NSW Fisheries Minister’s decision to remove no-take zones from the Hawkesbury Shelf Marine Bioregion and we urge the NSW Government to reconsider and return to a process that provides adequate protection for the marine communities of NSW.
Here, we comment on the Australian Marine Parks Network (AMPN) Draft Management Plans released on 21 July 2017. We briefly note our objections to the draft plan for Australia’s Commonwealth marine estate, then in more detail describe our concerns that relate to the draft plan for the Coral Sea.
The past three years have seen the worst mass coral bleaching in history occurring across the globe. For the first time we have seen back-to-back bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef resulting in the loss of more than half of shallow-water corals. The devastating damage from climate change is irrefutable, and will be exacerbated if the proposed mines in the Galilee Basin go ahead; they alone would become the world’s biggest and most harmful sources of atmospheric pollution. These impacts
directly threaten Australia’s responsibilities for stewardship of the Great Barrier Reef under the
World Heritage Convention.
It is not too late to step up action to reduce carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement (COP21), but we must act now.
The Governance arrangements for the GBRMPA were initially established through the Great Barrier Reef Marine
Park Act 1975, and reviewed in 2006.
Since this time, the uses of, and threats to, the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) have changed considerably.
These changes highlight the need for the accompanying changes in governance of the GBRMPA to ensure that the main object of the Act: ‘the long term protection and conservation of the environment,
biodiversity and heritage values of the Great Barrier Reef Region’ is achieved.