Great Sandy Ma­rine Park re­view

The Gympie Times - - NEWS -

BOAT­IES, fish­ers and users of the Great Sandy Ma­rine Park, which stretches from Dou­ble Is­land Point to Baf­fle Creek, are in­vited to take part in a re­view of the park’s zon­ing plan to help guide its fu­ture man­age­ment.

Act­ing En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Craig Craw­ford said the zon­ing plan’s aim was to bal­ance con­ser­va­tion, recre­ation and com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties.

“The cur­rent zon­ing plan is now 13 years old and it’s time it had a com­pre­hen­sive re­view,” Min­is­ter Craw­ford said.

“That is why to­day I am re­leas­ing a dis­cus­sion paper seek­ing com­mu­nity views on zon­ing plan op­por­tu­ni­ties as part of this re­view.

“The park is im­por­tant to tourism and for recre­ational and com­mer­cial fish­ing and it’s a much-loved nat­u­ral as­set for lo­cals, and a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for Aus­tralian and in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors.

“Feed­back re­ceived via the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion process will help guide the de­vel­op­ment of a draft re­vised zon­ing plan and the pub­lic will again be con­sulted once a draft re­vised zon­ing plan has been pre­pared later this year.”

The Great Sandy Ma­rine Park was es­tab­lished in 2006 and pro­tects an area of about 6000km2 along the Bund­aberg–Fraser Coast, from Baf­fle Creek in the north to Dou­ble Is­land Point in the south. It in­cludes Her­vey Bay, the Great Sandy Strait and off­shore wa­ters to three nau­ti­cal miles.

Ex­ten­sive sea­grass mead­ows and man­grove com­mu­ni­ties, some of the world’s most southerly coastal fringing reefs, and ma­rine an­i­mals of in­ter­na­tional and na­tional con­ser­va­tion sig­nif­i­cance such as hump­back whales, grey nurse sharks, tur­tles and dugong are found in the Great Sandy Ma­rine Park.

The dis­cus­sion paper and back­ground in­for­ma­tion are avail­able at www.qld.gov.au /ma­rine parks.

Stake­hold­ers and mem­bers of the pub­lic are en­cour­aged to pro­vide feed­back via the on­line sur­vey on the Get In­volved web­site www.get­involved.qld.gov.au or via a writ­ten sub­mis­sion. Sub­mis­sions close Fe­bru­ary 25.

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