Alix Goodwin, CEO National Parks Association of NSW
Sydney Marine Park
On 16 August, the NSW Government released its draft plan to protect the Hawkesbury Shelf marine bioregion through the creation of a new marine park. The marine park, based on the Sydney Harbour National Park model, was to be made up of a network of 25 sites to be managed under three zones: sanctuary zones, new conservation zones and special purpose zones.
Sydney’s blue backyard is central to our way of life, reputation and economy, yet less than 1% of the harbour cities coastal waters are protected. The NSW government has dragged the anchor on meaningful marine protection in NSW for 6 years, ignoring evidence and stalling their own reform process initiated three Premiers ago in 2010. Key stakeholders fatigued by years of consultation with no substantive progress to show for it, fear there is little true commitment from this government to strengthen marine protection.