Australian Marine Parks

Proposal for the establishment of marine parks in Australia’s Indian Ocean Territories (Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands)

We have now released a consultation draft of the Proposal for the establishment of marine parks in Australia’s Indian Ocean Territories (Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands).

The development of the consultation draft involved gathering information on natural, social and economic values of Indian Ocean Territories (IOT) waters through analysis of available scientific information, and several phases of community and stakeholder consultation. It outlines the proposed designs (location and zoning) of two marine parks: Christmas Island Marine Park and Cocos (Keeling) Island Marine Park. It also provides a rationale for the proposed marine park designs.

We have also released summaries of the Christmas Island Marine Park and Cocos (Keeling) Island Marine Park consultation draft.

These can be found here:

Give us your feedback

We would like to hear your views on the consultation draft. Comments will be used to help inform the preparation of a final proposal for the establishment of marine parks in Australia’s Indian Ocean Territories (Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands). The final proposal will then be subject to a minimum of 60 days of public of consultation, which is required under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) before the parks can be formally proclaimed and established.

To have your say, please read the consultation draft and send your comments to IOTmarineparksproposal@environment.gov.au.

You can also mail your feedback to:

IOT Marine Parks Draft Proposal
Parks Australia
Marine and Island Parks Branch
203 Channel Highway
Kingston TAS 7050

Your feedback is important to us and will help to help inform the next step in the formal marine park establishment process.
Submit your feedback by 13 August 2021.

Working with communities in the Indian Ocean Territories

The first step in considering any new Australian Marine Park is gathering information on the environmental, social, cultural and economic values of a marine area. This information helps to shape the design (location and zoning) of a marine park and how it might be managed once established.

During February and March 2021, we commenced consultations with Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Island communities about exploring the establishment of Australian Marine Parks. The community members we met with expressed a range of views about marine parks and a summary of some of these views is available here.

Following this initial consultation, we visited the Indian Ocean Territories in April, May and June to work with the community to help co-design the proposed marine parks.

A summary of these consultations can be found here:

The Director of National Parks has carefully considered the information shared through this engagement to help prepare a draft proposal to establish Australian Marine Parks in the Indian Ocean Territories.

Using the best available scientific research and analysis is an important part of any marine park design process. A significant body of research exists on the inshore marine environment of the Indian Ocean Territories. Additionally, a scientific voyage led by Museum Victoria onboard the CSIRO’s Research Vessel Investigator is currently underway. This voyage will improve our knowledge and understanding of the region’s deep-water features and habitats and builds on from the knowledge gained through a 2009 CSIRO study.

Stay in touch

If you would like to be kept up to date on the process to create Australian Marine Parks at Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands, including opportunities to comment please send an email to iotmarineparks@environment.gov.au.

Process to create Australian Marine Parks

Process to create Australian Marine Parks

To find out more about establishing Indian Ocean Territories, click here.