The Nature Conservation Council of NSW and National Parks Association of NSW have welcomed today’s release of the Terms of Reference of the Independent Scientific Audit of Marine Parks in NSW as balanced and robust.
The need for submissions to be fully referenced and their publication online should help ensure a process that is open and transparent for all stakeholders.
However, the solid foundations for the integrity of the Independent Scientific Audit will only hold firm if the NSW government remains committed to keeping the politics out of the review process and resulting action from its finding.
Nature Conservation Council of NSW, Chief Executive Officer, Pepe Clarke said, “A scientific audit of marine parks in NSW will only deliver better outcomes for the environment and local communities if it is applied in good faith by the government of the day.
“In recent weeks, the O’Farrell government has substantially weakened protection at Solitary Islands and Jervis Bay marine parks, and misled the public about the motivation for its actions. In doing so, it has acted contrary to the views of the overwhelming majority of the community that supports marine parks as vital protection for marine life,” he said.
National Parks Association of NSW, Executive Officer, Kevin Evans said, “It remains to be seen whether the Government can restore scientific integrity to our state’s marine conservation programs.
“The next test of its resolve will be the appointment of the Independent Scientific Panel next month, and the leadership of its chair Associate Professor Robert Beeton. We hope the make up and conduct of this Panel will help, not hinder, the delivery of evidence-based outcomes for more sustainable marine parks in NSW,” he said.
Photo: Dee Kramer/ Sydney Morning Herald