- I reject the large loss of green/Marine National Park zone in the North region – which reduces the coverage in the region to 1%. This ignores the Government’s own Review, which recommended it be increased by 10%.
I support the draft plan’s green/Marine National Park zones
- in the Oceanic Shoals Marine Park; and
- around the north Wellesley Islands within the Gulf of Carpentaria Marine Park (notwithstanding the large loss of MPNZ in that park overall).
I reject the draft management plans where the green/Marine National Park zones are reduced or removed entirely, ie:-
- in the West Cape York Marine Park- where the Marine National Park has been reduced by over half;
- in the Wessel Marine Park, where the Marine National Park Zones has been removed entirely;
- In the Gulf of Carpentaria Marine Park where the Marine National Park over the high value shelf habitats have been removed and replaced by lower value deeper habitats. The overall size of this National Park zone has decreased by over 60% of it’s original size.
I recommend that the following improvements be made:
- Introduction of a Marine National Park zone MNPZ in the western half of the Limmen Bight Marine Park, as suggested by the Government’s own Review. This would complement the Northern Territory state waters marine park, providing much needed protection to the shallow waters of Limmen Bight.
- Reinstatement in those parks where the Government proposes to remove them altogether – Wessel and Limmen Marine Parks.
- Mining - I support the Draft’s proposal to put in place no mining ‘Habitat Protection Zones’ in the West Cape York, Oceanic Shoals, Limmen and Wessel Marine Parks. These zones do not go far enough though, still permitting mining infrastructure and pipelines to be constructed. Further, I recommend that the other key coastal communities adjacent to commonwealth marine parks be given protection from mining – at Tiwi Islands (the Oceanic Shoals Marine Park), Port Keats and Wyndham (the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf Marine Park), Maningrida (the Arnhem Marine Park), and Minjilang (the Arafura Marine Park).
- I impress upon Parks Australia to recognise that this submission is a submission with equal importance as others made in any other format. That just because it is made online facilitated by community groups does not diminish its importance. I ask that you act on this and all other submissions equally.