Dear Ministers and my Member of the Legislative Assembly,
I welcome the Territory’s first ever plan to protect our Top End coasts. The NT Coastal and Marine Management Strategy sets a new course for the planning, protection and management of the region’s coasts and seas for the next 10 years.
It commits to safeguarding our coasts and seas, ensuring they’re healthy and productive, their cultural significance is recognised, and they continue to support our unique Territory lifestyle and livelihoods on the water.
This was an amazing first step. But we’re yet to see vital funds to put this Plan in place.
With threats to our coasts and fishing on the rise, we need to get on with the job.
I ask that you deliver on your commitment to safeguarding our coasts by funding the implementation of the NT Coastal and Marine Management Strategy in the 2020 NT Budget by:
- Investing $1.2mil/year recurrent for the implementation of the NT Coastal and Marine Management Strategy ($4.8m over 4 years).
- Investing $200,000/year for implementation of the Limmen Bight Marine Park Management Plan ($800k over 4 years).
Keeping our coasts healthy supports our communities, thousands of jobs and many essential industries right here in the Top End, like tourism and fishing. Fully funding this plan to protect our coasts is a modest and important investment - less than 0.001% of the overall Budget. Even in these difficult times, the NT Government can, and must, afford to safeguard our coasts.
This investment will demonstrate to the community, stakeholders, Traditional Owners, business and potential funding partners that the Government intends to implement this important Plan.
I look forward to your response.