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Review of the Zoning Plan for Great Sandy Marine Park

The Queensland Government is undertaking a review of the zoning plan for the Great Sandy Marine Park.

Each marine park has a zoning plan that outlines the rules to manage the multiple uses of the park and defines the locations of different zones which in turn provide for different levels of protection and different uses.

The Great Sandy Marine Park is a multiple use park established in 2006 to protect its significant natural and cultural values while providing opportunities for a range of different uses.

The department is proposing changes to the zoning plan which are described in the Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (PDF, 5.9 MB) and are outlined in the Summary of key proposed changes (PDF, 5.2 MB) . The proposed Great Sandy Marine Park zoning plan is now available for consultation until midnight 23 October 2022.

Development of the draft Great Sandy Marine Park zoning plan

Extensive public and targeted consultation during the review process to date has raised many different views and concerns.

The draft plan has been informed by community feedback, advice from First Nations peoples, recommendations from an independent scientific reference group, socio-economic information and scientific research, as well as best practice marine park management principles.

The proposed changes to the zoning plan seek to protect the significant values of the marine park while balancing the varied uses and aspirations identified through the review.

The opportunity

The draft zoning plan provides the opportunity to:

  • improve biodiversity and provide better protection of several iconic and threatened species, which are significant nationally and internationally including whales, dolphins, dugongs, turtles, grey nurse sharks and shorebirds
  • better protect cultural values, respect and recognise First Nations peoples’ native title rights and responsibilities for caring for their sea Country
  • enhance the region’s enviable nature-based and recreational fishing lifestyle
  • support future economic growth in the region based on nature-based tourism, recreational and charter fishing and, where appropriate, aquaculture
  • assist local councils to address coastal impacts of climate change
  • largely maintain the use of the marine park by the commercial fishing sectors of trawl, crab and line, and to a reduced extent net fishing.

Proposed changes and potential benefits and impacts

The draft Great Sandy Marine Park zoning plan proposes changes that support the long-term sustainability of the region’s nature-based tourism and recreational fishing sectors and positions the region to take full advantage of increased tourism associated with the 2032 Olympics. The plan also supports the region’s enviable nature-based lifestyle and economic strengths.

View the key proposed changes and their potential benefits and impacts by sector.

View a summary of proposed changes (PDF, 5.2 MB) , or for full details please refer to the Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (PDF, 5.9 MB) .

Support for directly impacted business

In developing the draft Great Sandy Marine Park zoning plan, the department has carefully considered the impacts on different sectors.

Some commercial fishing and seafood processing / wholesaling businesses would be directly impacted by the proposed changes.

A fair and comprehensive financial assistance and re-training package would be available for these directly impacted businesses. This package would be developed in consultation with industry, following feedback on the draft zoning plan.

Should the proposed zoning plan changes be progressed, the Queensland Government would also provide a regional economic enhancement package which would include infrastructure such as boat ramps and artificial reefs to support recreational fishing and tourism opportunities.

How to provide feedback

We are seeking your feedback on how well the proposed changes will conserve and manage the marine park and/or how they may affect you.

The draft Great Sandy Marine Park zoning plan is available for consultation until midnight on 23 October 2022. To provide your feedback, please complete the online survey.

Alternatively, you can lodge a written submission:

Email: gsmp.review@des.qld.gov.au
Post: Great Sandy Marine Park Zoning Plan Review
Department of Environment and Science
PO Box 15187
City East QLD 4002

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Zoning review process

The review of the Great Sandy Marine Park Zoning Plan is being conducted in four stages:

Step 1: Information was gathered about the conservation, social, cultural and economic values of the marine park.

Step 2: A public discussion paper was released and targeted consultation was undertaken to gain feedback on the management of the marine park.

Step 3: The draft zoning plan has been released for consultation. This is the current stage of the zoning plan review process.

Step 4: A final zoning plan will be prepared informed by feedback from the consultation.

View larger image Enlarge image
Great Sandy Marine Park process diagram

Once consultation closes on the draft zoning plan, the feedback received through the online survey and written submissions will be considered and analysed to prepare the final zoning plan.

Depending on the zoning and management arrangements of the final zoning plan and impacts to industry, a fair and comprehensive financial assistance and re-training package will be developed, in consultation with industry, prior to the final zoning plan being formally endorsed by the Queensland Government.

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