THE final management plan for the Bremer Commonwealth Marine Reserve (CMR) came into effect on Sunday, July 1, with an additional 3,000 sq km set to receive the highest level of protection.
Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson MP said the management plan on the government’s review of Commonwealth Marine Reserves has delivered overwhelming benefits for the Great Southern.
The majority of the changes proposed by the independent Bioregional Advisory Panel for the Bremer CMR have been adopted in the new management plans approved by the Federal Minister for Environment, Josh Frydenberg.
The Marine National Park Zone at Bremer Bay, which previously comprised 6.25 per cent of the total marine reserve, will increase to 70.93 per cent.
Additionally, local fishing families will be able to continue to fish in special purpose zones outside the Marine National Park, while oil, gas and mineral exploration will be excluded from the entire reserve.
The only change to the final draft proposed by the Bioregional Advisory Panel is the removal of a scallop trawl zone, which Mr Wilson lobbied to have removed from the reserve as the local community comprehensively opposed it.
Mr Wilson said the changes were a major win for the Great Southern and thanked the Bremer community for an outstanding grassroots campaign.
“The local community has been instrumental in these significant changes announced by the Minister for Environment,” Mr Wilson said.
“They instigated a compelling campaign which enabled me to convince Minister Frydenberg that the overwhelming consensus was this unique marine environment needed to be preserved and protected.
“All of the requests for protection that we put forward have been honoured and I couldn’t be happier with the changes that the Minister has implemented.
“I want to acknowledge Bremer drive operator Craig Lebens and landscape ecologist Nathan McQuoid for galvanising the wider O’Connor community for their efforts in securing an outstanding outcome for the South Coast.”
“The government has created a world-class network of marine parks which covers 36 per cent of our oceans – well in excess of the international benchmark of 10 per cent.
“I believe our marine park network is the second largest in the world and we’ve put in place some of the strongest marine environment and biodiversity protections ever implemented.”