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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Environment and Heritage Minister Robert Hill today announced plans to establish the largest Marine Park off the New South Wales coast, in Commonwealth waters around Lord Howe Island.
Senator Hill said the new Marine Park would protect the unique marine species in the waters surrounding Lord Howe at the same time as meeting the needs of Lord Howe Island community.
"Due to the alternating influence of ocean currents, a diverse mix of temperate and tropical species live in these waters, including species at the southern limits of their distribution"
"Management of this area will protect biodiversity and ensure the community uses the ocean's resources, an important part of their traditions and lifestyle, in an ecologically sustainable way."
"The proposed park will extend 12 nautical miles around Lord Howe Island and Ball's Pyramid, and include the entire Lord Howe seamount system and it's ecosystems of very high biological diversity" Senator Hill said.
The proposed Lord Howe Island Marine Park will adjoin the NSW Marine Park and give extended protection to the World Heritage and National Estate values of the Lord Howe Island marine environs.
"Issuing a formal notice of intent for the Marine Park reflects the government's commitment to developing a nationally representative system of marine protected areas," Senator Hill said.
"Extensive consultations with the community, including the fishing and petroleum industries and other stakeholders, have preceded the development of this Marine Park proposal."
Senator Hill said issuing of the Notice of Intent will trigger a formal 60 day consultation process on the proposal, including future management arrangements, under the Commonwealth National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act.
Submissions should be directed to Leanne Wilks, Marine Group, Environment Australia, PO Box 787, Canberra, ACT, 2601, by 15th May 2000. Details of the proposed Marine Parks can be found at: http://www.environment.gov.au/marine/marine_protected/lordhowe/main.html
Rod Bruem (Senator Hill's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364
Peter Taylor (Environment Australia) 02 6274 1759 or 0419 293 465