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Josh Frydenberg - Liberal for Kooyong
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 Media Releases
Australian Marine Parks - for all Australians

Published: Tuesday, 20 March 2018

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Following an independent scientific review and extensive consultation process, the Turnbull Government will table in the Parliament a world-leading management regime for 44 Australian Marine Parks.

Home to the second largest area (3.3 million square kilometres) of marine protected area in the world, Australia with 36 per cent of its waters included in marine parks is well ahead of the international benchmark ‘Aichi target’ of 10 per cent by 2020.

The new regime improves on plans introduced but never implemented by Labor in 2012 by delivering a more balanced and scientific evidence-based approach to ocean protection, enabling tourism and well-managed fishing activity supporting local communities, local jobs and regional economies.

Key elements of the Turnbull Government’s plan compared to Labor’s proposed plans include:

  • An increase of 200,000 square kilometres in the area with sea floor protection.
  • 16 per cent more of the total area of parks will be open to recreational fishing which includes access to 97 per cent of Commonwealth waters within 100 kilometres of the coast. This reduces by 400,000 square kilometres the area from which Labor would have locked out Australia’s five million recreational fishers.
  • 17 per cent more of the total area of marine parks open to commercial fishing.
  • A four per cent decrease in the total area of marine parks open to mining.
  • The protection of 509 conservation features (reefs and canyons), 344 in the highest levels of protection, compared to 331 in Labor’s plans.

By being more targeted with restrictions and integrating marine park management with world-class fisheries management, we have not only increased conservation protection, but also ensured regional economies are supported.

The Government has allocated $56 million to implement these plans, including funding for community engagement and science and an appropriate adjustment package which government will consult with industry on.

Under these plans, Australia will have world-class management of all marine parks in our oceans, starting from 1 July 2018. The plans can be found via

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