Multiple Bunbury businesses have sent a letter to Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino regarding the safety and security of Geographe Marine Park.
The letter focuses on the review of the Draft Commonwealth Marine Parks, with emphasis on the decision to downgrade two small marine sanctuaries (National Park/IUCN II zones) in the Geographe Marine Park.
The Dolphin Discovery Centre, Naturaliste Chambers, A B Sea Charters, Cape Dive, Dive Shed and Coastal Water Dive representatives were involved in drafting the letter.
The letter states: “The removal of these sanctuaries makes no sense and goes against the science recommendations from the Government’s own Review of Geographe Marine Park”.
The letter also noted: “acknowledging the level of consultation, the science evidence and the ‘intense community interest’, the Review recommended retaining both sanctuaries, while reconfiguring them slightly to better align with immediately adjacent sanctuaries in the Ngari Capes Marine Park established by the Barnett Government, and to improve ease of navigation for fishers.”
Dolphin Discovery Centre general manager David Kerr said the sanctuaries needed to be taken into account.
“The main thing that we’re trying to get across is that there are some strategic assets that we believe need to be included that are not at the level, that we believe, they need to be protected,” he said.
“Those assets are key to the future of our region – it’s a destination for tourism, diving, recreational fishing, through to the general maintenance of our environment and some of the species that travel through the region as well.”
Mrs Marino said the Australian Government wanted to find a balance between people involved across all aspects of the marine area.
“The Director of National Parks is currently preparing management plans for Australia's marine parks, following two public consultation periods. These plans will be provided to Government for consideration soon.
“The Government is committed to establishing a balance between all marine uses: conservation, fishing, recreation and traditional use.
“We have allocated $56 million to implement new zoning arrangements that take into account the needs of local communities.”