Today’s announcement for an NT Parks Masterplan has been welcomed by The Keep Top End Coasts Healthy Alliance as it provides an opportunity to turn the Territory into a leader on coasts.
There is much greater potential to grow the Northern Territory’s marine and coastal tourism economy, and parks and reserves can play a key role.
The Territory coast is one of the last intact tropical coastlines in the world - an extraordinary asset and an amazing tourism drawcard.
Adele Pedder, spokesperson from Keep Top End Coasts Healthy, has welcomed today’s announcement and said "The Territory’s wild and iconic coastline should be on every tourist’s bucket list, on every fisher’s bucket list. Yet, with only two marine parks and a few small conservation and coastal reserves, the Territory is not embracing the opportunities of its natural advantage."
"Too many tourists and fishers bypass the Territory and head to the Great Kimberley Marine Park or the Great Barrier Reef coast - that has to change. To attract coastal tourism, fishing and private investment, we need to put the Territory on the map. The Parks Masterplan provides an opportunity to develop this vision and turn the Territory into a leader on coastal parks and reserves."
"As Territorians know, there are so many spectacular places along our coastline, and if locals and Traditional Owners are happy to welcome tourism and recreational fishing investment that comes with parks and reserves, then the opportunities are great."
"The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park now has a $29 billion dollar tourism industry. Yet the GBR has 600 islands, where here in the NT we have 887 islands. Research also found the waters around Groote Eylandt to be as biodiverse as those of the Great Barrier Reef. We have what it takes, but we need the vision to make it a reality."
"Territory coasts contribute $2 billion to the economy every year and support over 6,300 jobs. We need to secure the health of this great natural asset and the coastal communities, fishing lifestyle, and marine-based industries that depend on it. The Parks Masterplan can make a significant contribution to safeguarding our coasts."
"We congratulate the Gunner Government - this Parks Masterplan vision provides the opportunity to turn the Territory into a leader on coastal parks and reserves," said Ms Pedder.
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