Michelle Lensink

Marine Parks

A question put forward to the Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Minister for Forests, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Tourism, Minister for the Status of Women) regarding the subject of marine park draft sanctuary zones.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:42): My questions are to the Minister for Regional Development on the subject of marine park draft sanctuary zones.

First, is the minister aware of concerns from regional communities as diverse as Ceduna and Streaky Bay on the West Coast to communities in the South-East and in between, particularly the impact on small coastal towns dependent on seasonal tourism; and, secondly, what input has her department had into the regional impact statement?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Minister for Forests, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Tourism, Minister for the Status of Women) (14:43): I thank the honourable member for her most important question. Indeed, marine parks are an issue very dear to my heart. As members would know, as former minister for the environment—it was a policy initiative initially established by the Hon. John Hill but it was a policy initiative that I had a key part in implementing—I was very proud to have had a part in that very early work.

As we know, in 2009 there were 19 multiple-use marine parks that were created along the state's coastline in keeping with the Marine Parks Act 2007 and the South Australian representative system of marine protective areas. At this stage only the parks' outer boundaries are in place which encompasses around 44 per cent of the state's waters, I have been advised. The process of developing management plans with zoning has begun, I am advised, with public consultation anticipated to take place right through until the end of the year. I am also advised that the zones are expected to be implemented in 2012.

As I said, the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, who is responsible for marine parks, established 13 marine park local advisory groups (LAGs) to help draft management plans and zoning arrangements for all 19 of the parks. These groups have been set up to source the best available local knowledge from people who live or work near the marine park, and that obviously includes commercial and recreational fishers.

On 11 May, draft sanctuary zoning scenarios were provided by the LAGs to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for consideration. Primary Industries and Resources (PIRSA) has worked with DENR to pursue pragmatic zoning to minimise the impacts on aquaculture and commercial and recreational fishing activities which are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable and important providers of jobs and economic returns to regional South Australia. Final draft zoning and management plans will be subject to a three-month public consultation period. Until the management plans are implemented in 2012, current activities within the marine parks' boundaries will continue.

PIRSA has been an active participant in the whole-of-government marine park steering committee, established by DENR to facilitate cross-agency consultation and communication on the development of marine parks. Based on requests from the minister for environment, PIRSA has recently also become involved in the marine park council process, which provides expertise-based advice to the minister for environment on marine park issues. PIRSA has established an expert advisory panel to provide advice to PIRSA and DENR on the scope for distribution of displacement of fishing effort.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:47): What about the regional impact statement? The minister has not said anything about whether she has had any input into that.

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Minister for Forests, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Tourism, Minister for the Status of Women) (14:47): I will take that part of the question on notice and bring back a response.

Question on Notice answered on 14 February 2012.

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Public Sector Management, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Government Enterprises, Minister for Gambling): I am advised Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) have provided input to EconSearch Pty Ltd during the development of marine park impact statements. PIRSA has also provided advice on the draft impacts statements through its role on the whole-of-government Marine Parks Steering Committee.

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