The State’s peak environment group has condemned the NSW government’s proposal to wind back
marine protection for the Solitary Islands and Jervis Bay marine parks, the latest in a series of
damaging changes affecting marine protected areas.
Solitary Islands alone will lose more than 5000 hectares of crucial sanctuary areas as current zonings
are pushed back to 2002 levels.
“This latest assault on our marine parks and sanctuaries calls into serious question the NSW
government’s environmental credentials and pre‐empts a fair, science‐based review of marine parks as
promised during the election,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke said
“Government claims that there was inadequate community consultation on the new protections for
Solitary Islands and Jervis Bay are spurious and unfounded. It’s downright fishy to allege a lack of
consultation when thousands of community members made submissions and hundreds were involved
in consultation events before zonings were implemented.
“The NSW government is demonstrating disregard of due process by ignoring the extensive
consultation processes conducted in 2010 and scientific evidence for the existing marine protections in
place at Solitary Islands and Jervis Bay.
“Premier O’Farrell claims he won’t make deals with minority parties in the Upper House, but the
proposed changes to marine park zones call into serious question just who is calling the shots on
marine protection in our state.
“The zoning plans introduced earlier this year represent a strong balance between conservation,
recreational fishing and commercial fishing needs. Rolling back the new zoning plans will place marine
life and habitat at risk, create enormous confusion and is a great waste of taxpayers’ money.
“The Nature Conservation Council of NSW calls on the NSW government to abandon its proposed
changes to protection at Solitary Islands and Jervis Bay,” Mr Clarke said.