Bremer Canyon plan support

23/4/2015

In the last four weeks I have received over 950 emails from concerned Australians about protecting the Bremer Canyon by expanding the existing Bremer Commonwealth Marine Reserve to include more of the Canyon.

As early as June 2014 I was made aware of the value of the unique biodiversity hotspot that is the Bremer Canyon through conversations with film-maker and researcher Dave Riggs.

Mr Riggs has detailed the large numbers of bird and marine life attracted into this unique food chain that is thought to be caused by a leaking sub-sea hydrocarbon system. During his research and filming he has observed rare bird sightings, encountered pods of killer (orca), southern right and sperm whales and seen great white sharks and Australian sea lions.

I haven’t yet been able to take Mr Riggs up on his offer to experience what the Bremer Canyon has to offer but I look forward to participating in an expedition in the not too distant future.

The orca season has now finished, with large numbers of visitors and locals not only taking the boat trip but also experiencing all that Bremer Bay and the surrounding Fitzgerald National Park has to offer.

I firmly believe the Bremer Canyon is not only important as an area of ecological significance but as a source of increased tourist visitation and subsequent economic benefit to the Bremer Bay community, and the wider region.

I have also had discussions with other scientific experts, Bremer Bay business and community members, the Shire of Jerramungup and the Federal Minister for the Environment Hon Greg Hunt regarding the future protection of the Bremer Canyon.

The Bremer Bay area, including the Bremer Canyon, has already been proclaimed a Commonwealth Marine Reserve.

Currently, there is an independent review investigating the management arrangements for many Commonwealth Marine Reserves, including the Bremer Commonwealth Marine Reserve. However, Minister Hunt informed me this review process is not the forum in which expansion of the existing marine reserve boundaries will be considered.

I have asked the minister for information on the mechanism for reconsidering the existing boundaries to incorporate the full extent of this unique ecological phenomenon. I will also invite him to participate in one of Naturaliste Charters expeditions at his next possible convenience so he can witness first-hand this amazing part of Australia.

As your Federal Member, I will continue to advocate on your behalf for the greater protection of the Bremer Canyon to ensure the Bremer Canyon is protected for generations to come.

Rick Wilson MP
Federal Member for O’Connor
 

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