I congratulate the Gunner Government on its commitment to develop a Marine and Coastal Management Strategy. This Strategy must protect the health of our coasts and safeguard our Territory lifestyle.
The Northern Territory coast and marine environment is truly special, for unique marine wildlife, its iconic fishing, and for its strong cultural connections for Indigenous Territorians. Our coastline is in relatively good shape, but it is facing increasing threats evidenced by the recent large-scale mangrove dieback, pollution, and that the fishing isn’t as good as it used to be in places like Darwin Harbour.
Right along the coastline, across sectors and communities, Territorians are seeing the pressures mounting and want more to be done. We need measures that not only manage threats, but that also take a proactive approach to securing the future of our coasts. I would like your government to build on the work of stakeholders and the community, and deliver a suite of Territory style solutions. These should include Seacountry Indigenous Protected Areas, recreational fishing areas and marine parks. Importantly, our tropical rivers must continue to flow and our precious seagrass meadows safeguarded from the threat of seabed mining.
This Coastal and Marine Management Strategy presents an opportunity for Government, stakeholders and the community to set our Northern Territory waters up for the future through application of enduring solutions. Without this proper protection and management, the Top End coasts and seas are at risk.
Thank you and I look forward to seeing a solid Coastal and Marine Management Strategy that delivers the protection and management that our Top End coasts deserve.