Commonwealth marine reserves
Public consultations: May 2011 - February 2012
Between May 2011 and February 2012, the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations and Communities, the Hon Tony Burke MP, invited public feedback on the draft marine bioregional plan and draft Commonwealth marine reserve network proposals for the South-west, North, North-west and Temperate East Marine Regions and the Commonwealth marine reserve proposal for the Coral Sea Region.
Table 1: Consultation periods for the five marine regions
|South-west||5 May - 8 August 2011|
|North-west||23 August - 28 November 2011|
|North||23 August - 28 November 2011|
|Temperate East||11 November 2011 - 21 February 2012|
|Coral Sea||25 November 2011 - 24 February 2012|
During the consultation periods, the department undertook numerous meetings in coastal areas of Australia. A total of 245 meetings were held with 1953 people attending across Australia. Regional consultations began with multi-sector information sessions in the major centres followed by a number of public information sessions held in regional centres. The public information sessions were open to everyone, were advertised locally and provided opportunities for members of the public to view consultation materials and talk to department staff. In addition to the public information sessions, targeted stakeholder meetings were also held throughout the public consultation period.
Table 2: Number of meetings conducted across all marine regions and attendees
|Stakeholder interest||Number of meetings||Total attendees|
|Public information sessions||35||526|
|Government (State /Territory /Norfolk Island) briefings||10||75|
|Targeted sectoral stakeholder meetings||191||1192|
Who provided feedback
When all marine regions are considered, the department received in total 566,377 submissions. The highest number of submissions (487,435) was received in response to the release of the Commonwealth marine reserve proposal for the Coral Sea Region.
Of the 566,377 submissions received across all regions, 99.7% or 564,881, were submitted as part of several campaigns, mostly organised by environmental organisations (for example, AVAAZ Save Our Oceans campaign, Protect Our Coral Sea conservation campaign, Save Our Marine Life collaboration, Save Our Tropical Sealife coalition and campaigns from the Wilderness Society); other campaigns were organised by the recreational fishing sector and commercial fishing organisations. Campaign submissions included standardised text and messages prepared by the campaigning organisation and, in some instances, included original comments by the person providing the submission; campaign submissions were mostly provided through online templates or as postcards.
Table 3: Numbers of submissions received in each marine region and in total
| Submissions received|
|Coral Sea||487 435||907|
|Temperate East||7 113||227|
|National Total||566 377||1496|
Alongside campaign submissions, a total of 1496 non-campaign submissions were sent in by individuals from the general community, organisations including businesses, clubs, representative associations, State governments, Indigenous organisations and industry bodies (Figure 1). The largest proportion of non-campaign submissions was from the general community (612 or 41%) followed by the conservation sector (405 or 27%). People and organisations representing the commercial fishing sector and recreational fishing also provided a large number of submissions (152 or 10% and 126 or 8% respectively).
Figure 1: Stakeholder groups/sectors providing submissions (excluding campaigns)
No analysis is provided in relation to the geographic origin of the submissions because of the large proportion of submissions received via email for which there is little or no indication of place of origin. However it is known that most campaign submissions received in response to the Coral Sea reserve proposal were received from individuals residing outside Australia. For example, the AVAAZ Save Our Oceans 24 Hours campaign generated 385,695 submissions, of which 23,866 were from Australia.
Regional overviews of consultation activities and feedback
- Marine Bioregional Planning in the South-west Marine Region - Overview of Public Consultation (PDF - 1325KB) | HTML
- Marine Bioregional Planning in the North-west Marine Region - Overview of Public Consultation (PDF - 2005KB) | HTML
- Marine Bioregional Planning in the North Marine Region - Overview of Public Consultation (PDF - 1700KB) | HTML
- Marine Bioregional Planning in the Temperate East Marine Region - Overview of Public Consultation (PDF - 2005KB)
- Marine Bioregional Planning in the Coral Sea Region - Overview of Public Consultation (PDF - 2005KB)