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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

28 October 1999

MACQUARIE ISLAND MARINE PARK DECLARED


Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage Robert Hill today announced the declaration of Macquarie Island Marine Park covering more than 16 million hectares.

The park is in the Southern Ocean, 1,500km south east of Tasmania, and contains the world's largest marine highly protected zone.

"The declaration of the new marine park reflects the Howard Government's commitment to developing a nationally representative system of marine protected areas in Commonwealth waters," Senator Hill said.

"It follows the declaration of the Tasmanian Seamounts Marine Reserve earlier this year."

The primary purpose of the Macquarie Island Marine Park is to protect the conservation values of the region from human-induced disturbance.

"The park will protect the pristine habitat for threatened species like the royal penguin, rockhopper penguin, Subantarctic fur seal, southern elephant seal and five species of albatross, including the wandering albatross," Senator Hill said.

Macquarie Island Marine Park includes two management zones. The central core of 5.8 million hectares will be managed as a Highly Protected Zone in which fishing, and petroleum and mineral exploration will be prohibited.

The northern and southern portions of the park, 10.4 million hectares, will be managed as a Species/Habitat Management Zone for habitat protection. Scientific research will be a primary activity associated with ecologically sustainable management in this zone.

"The declaration of the park has followed extensive consultation with the community, including the fishing industry and conservation groups," Senator Hill said.

"The government will soon begin working with stakeholders to develop a management plan for the park."

Details of the Macquarie Island Marine Park can be found at: http://www.environment.gov.au/net/macquarie.html

Contact:
Peter Taylor (Environment Australia) 02 6274 1759 or 0419 293 465
Rod Bruem (Senator Hill's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364

Commonwealth of Australia