Final round of public consultation on Commonwealth Marine Reserves now open
Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson MP is encouraging people in the Great Southern to lodge submissions regarding the draft plans for the Bremer Commonwealth Marine Reserve, with the final round of public consultation now under way. Pictured here is Rick speaking with Nathan McQuoid and Meredith Spencer.
The draft plan for the Bremer CMR, as outlined in September, increases the protected area inside the reserve by nearly 3000 square kilometres and prohibits oil, gas and mineral exploration.
A 60-day consultation period opened today, which will serve as the final opportunity for stakeholders and other members of the community to have their say on the future of the reserve.
“The Director of National Parks will finalise plans and submit them to the Government for review following this final round of consultation, so this is the last opportunity for the community to provide feedback on the proposed changes,” Mr Wilson said.
“The consultation process has been extremely comprehensive – I’ve met with dozens of stakeholders over the best part of two years, and I’m confident we’ve reached a strong consensus in this draft.
“These plans strike a balance between protecting our natural environment and accounting for community and economic interests, so it’s important we get that right.
“I’d encourage everyone with an interest in the future of the Bremer CMR to review the plans and consider making a submission.”
Overall, the boundaries for marine reserves will not change, but management will be adjusted to allow for sustainable fishing activities while maintaining a strong focus on preserving the environment.
Commonwealth Marine Reserves currently comprise 36 per cent of waters around Australia, far beyond the United Nation’s target of 10 per cent.
The Government committed $56.1 million over four years, from 2016-17, for the management of these reserves.
Mr Wilson said he would meet with interested parties across the Great Southern and South Coast regions in the coming weeks, with trips to Esperance and Bremer Bay planned next month.
Research has also been conducted this year to assess the merits of protecting the Bremer Canyon, which rests outside the CMR, funded by $150,000 from the Federal Government.
The draft plans can be accessed at: www.parksaustralia.gov.au/marine
Media contact: Andrew Brosnan 0488 643 593