A Labor Government will protect the world renowned Sydney Harbour by creating a dedicated Sydney Marine Park – to ensure its precious beauty and diversity will be enjoyed by future generations.
Sydney Harbour is the most biologically diverse port in the world, with 3,000 species documented. However, pressures on the Harbour are significant and growing. As well as the longer term threat posed by climate change, it is already suffering from contaminants and the inevitable development and pollution associated with a city of 4.8 million people. Invasive species threaten Sydney’s marine life.
The Sydney Marine Park will extend from Pittwater to Port Hacking, incorporating Sydney Harbour, Parramatta and Lane Cove Rivers, Middle Harbour, Pittwater, Narrabeen Lakes, Dee Why Lagoon, Botany Bay and Port Hacking. It will also extend three nautical miles off the coast to the limit of State waters.
To ensure the new park is properly designed and effectively managed Labor will establish an advisory committee consisting of representatives from marine conservation, marine science, Indigenous communities, Surf Life Saving Clubs, the tourism industry, recreational fishers, scuba divers, commercial fishers; and local councils.
The committee will develop a long term zoning plan for the park and replace the existing ad hoc approach to the management of the Harbour’s marine environment with one that is science-based.
The multiple use Sydney Marine Park will be open to the public and cater for a range of sustainable activities including fishing, boating, dolphin and whale watching, swimming, snorkelling and kayaking.
It will also include sanctuary zones – with protections equivalent to that of a national park – where fishing will not be permitted, leaving the marine life to breed freely and undisturbed, as well as general use zones open to fishing, and recreational fishing havens. The marine park will be good news for both conservation and fishers.
Labor will permanently protect one of Australia’s most internationally recognised icons to ensure that we continue to benefit from this remarkable natural and economic asset for our city and state.