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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

4 November 2004

New management plan for the Great Australian Bight Marine Park


The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today invited public comment on a draft new management plan for the Great Australian Bight Marine Park (Commonwealth Waters).

The plan will be the second created for the marine park and will replace the existing five-year plan, which expires on 16 May next year.

The draft plan provides protection within two zones — the Marine Mammal Protection Zone (MMPZ) and the Benthic Protection Zone (BPZ). The MMPZ protects calving grounds for the southern right whale and habitat for the Australian sea lion, while the BPZ protects animals, plants and sediments from the seabed of the continental shelf and slope of the Great Australian Bight.

"A diverse range of species and ocean environments are found in the Great Australian Bight — it is vital that we protect them," Senator Campbell said.

"The park plays an important role in the lifestyle and livelihood of many Australians, so I encourage them to put forward their views."

The statutory 30-day period for public comment will run from tomorrow (5 November) to 6 December and the Director of National Parks will consider all comments submitted during this period.

The Commonwealth marine park lies seaward of the Great Australian Bight Marine Park established by the South Australian State Government.

The new management plan will run for seven years until 2012. Copies of the draft plan are available at www.deh.gov.au/coasts/mpa/gab

Commonwealth of Australia