Dear Minister, Treasurer and my Member of the Legislative Assembly,
I welcome the Gunner Government’s election commitment to implement the Territory’s first ever plan to protect our Top End coasts - the NT Coastal and Marine Management Strategy - including developing and implementing two regional coastal plans using spatial marine planning with Traditional Owners and stakeholders.
This is an amazing commitment. But we’re yet to see vital funds to put this plan in place.
Territorians rallied together calling for better management and protection of our coasts and made it a key issue this election.
Allocating adequate funding to the implementation of this plan in the November Budget will be critically important for the delivery of this election commitment.
Coasts support over 6,000 jobs and are critical to our economy, contributing $2billion per year. With the recognized contribution our coasts make to jobs and the economy, and with threats to these coasts on the rise, we need funding to put the Plan to protect our coasts into action.
Allocating adequate funding in the upcoming 2020 November Budget is critical and requires:
- 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).
The future of the Territory’s famous coastline depends on sound, community-led management making best use of solutions tailored to the Territory, including sea country Indigenous Protected Areas, enhanced recreational fishing measures, marine parks like Limmen Bight that deliver jobs for tourism and Indigenous Rangers, and healthy flowing rivers that can continue to sustain our regional economies and lifestyle.
Fully funding the plan to protect our coasts is a modest but crucial 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.