MARINE PARKS

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS(14:47:19): Supplementary: given that regional development minister, Geoff Brock, told a recent local government conference that the marine park sanctuary zones would be the subject of a regional impact statement, will the minister explain why regional impact statements were not done before the closures were put in place?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER(Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation)(14:47:42): I thank the honourable member for his most important supplementary question. Parliament's decision to reject the Liberal opposition's marine parks amendment bill can only be seen as a victory for our state's unique marine environment and the economic future of regional communities. I am extremely pleased, of course, that the member for Frome chose to vote against these barbaric amendments put forward by the Liberal Party. Throughout this process, the member for Frome has kept the concerns of South Australians at heart, but especially those in regional areas.

 

What is clear from the public debate on this bill is that there continues to be concern within the community in particular areas regarding the possible impact of our marine parks network. In order to help address these concerns, the government committed to immediately conducting formal regional impact assessment statement processes in relation to sanctuary zone impacts for the Port Wakefield, Ceduna and Kangaroo Island areas, which will be completed by 1 October 2015.

 

In addition, within this term of government, we will commence a program for the review of marine park management plans pursuant to section 14(2) of the Marine Parks Act 2007. The program will prioritise the review of management plans based on the outcomes of past studies, economic impact assessments and regional impact assessments. Draft marine parks statutory authorisation compensation regulations will shortly be released for targeted public consultation. Commercial fishers have asked the government for these regulations to help provide the industry with certainty regarding the process for compensation and compulsory acquisition under the Marine Parks Act.

Our marine park network will be an asset to this state, I am quite sure, and will facilitate economic development in our regions into the future. Our sustainably managed fisheries and marine park network will give our producers a competitive advantage over their interstate colleagues in line with our priority for premium food and wine from our clean environment. The marine park network will attract more tourists to our state to see our rich and diverse marine species protected by our sanctuary zones, which are, of course, integral to the marine parks network. The government is committed to ensuring that these opportunities are exploited and the benefits to the regions are realised. With this in mind I will work very closely with minister Brock as Minister for Regional.

 

 

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS(14:50:13): Will the minister explain why the regional impact statement is being implemented after the closure and not before that was put into place?

 

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER(Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation)(14:50:28): This is the end of a long 10-year period of co-design with the community, liaison with the community and talking to industry groups. The marine parks legislation was passed by this council and the other place.

 

In relation to the amendment bill moved by the Hon. Michelle Lensink in this place and moved in the lower house, the government required support to have the majority to defeat the bill. One of the requirements from minister Brock was that we actually scrutinise once again any potential economic impact on the three key zones of concern to the community at the moment. We were very happy to do so and secure his vote against the Liberal Party proposition.