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 zoning plan review 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.

The latest consultation as part of the review process included seeking feedback on a draft Great Sandy Marine Park zoning plan and associated Regulatory Impact Statement in September–October 2022.

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: A draft zoning plan was released for consultation. Analysis of feedback is underway. 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.

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Great Sandy Marine Park process diagram

Next steps

Submissions made during the September-October 2022 draft zoning plan consultation period will be used to prepare a final revised zoning plan for the Great Sandy Marine Park.

Feedback received through the online survey, written submissions and meetings with stakeholders will be considered and analysed to inform this plan, which is the final stage of the review.

Stakeholders and the community will be kept informed as the review progresses and on the release of the final plan.

Support for directly impacted businesses

Throughout the zoning review, including the recent consultation period, the department has considered the impacts on different sectors.

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

A fair and comprehensive financial assistance and re-training package will be available to businesses directly impact by the final revised zoning plan. This package would be developed in consultation with industry. In addition, the Queensland Government will also provide a regional economic enhancement package which would include public infrastructure such as boat ramps and artificial reefs to support recreational fishing, boating and tourism opportunities.

Draft zoning plan consultation (September/October 2022)

Between 23 September and 23 October 2022, the department sought feedback on proposed changes to the Great Sandy Marine Park zoning plan. A draft plan was developed based on 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.

Proposed changes in the draft zoning plan were described in the Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (PDF, 5.9 MB) and Summary of key proposed changes (PDF, 5.2 MB) .

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. View the key proposed zoning plan changes by sector.

Resources and maps