Australian Marine Parks

1. Context

The Director of National Parks manages Australian Marine Park (AMP) networks, which comprise several geographically dispersed and environmentally diverse marine parks across Australia’s Commonwealth waters. AMPs protect and conserve biodiversity and other natural and cultural values and, through a range of zone types, provide for ecologically sustainable use by First Nations Peoples, marine-based industries, local communities and other user groups, when such use is compatible with biodiversity conservation.

Each network has a statutory management plan (2018-28) that outlines the regulatory provisions that apply within that network, and management programs, which are implemented through three successive implementation plans within the 10-year lifespan of the management plans. The management plans also provide for advisory committees as a key mechanism to support and advise the Director and help achieve the vision that marine parks are healthy, resilient and well-managed for the enhancement of Australia’s well-being.

2. Purpose

Provide advice to the Director of National Parks to support the management of Australian Marine Parks in accordance with statutory network management plans.

3. Role

Consistent with Australian Marine Park management plans and the purpose of Australian Marine Park Advisory Committees (AMPAC), AMPACs role is to:

  1. Help develop, deliver, monitor and evaluate marine park network implementation plans, including assisting to prioritise management actions and develop performance measures.
  2. Provide advice to identify and address key and emerging priorities, including engagement of First Nations in the management of Sea Country within marine parks; climate related impacts; factors arising from Australia’s energy transition; and ecosystem resilience and recovery.
  3. Provide information on First Nations, stakeholder, partner and park user views, knowledge and needs.
  4. Contribute to the review and evaluation of existing statutory management plans to inform the preparation of the next cycle of management plans.            

4. Membership

Each advisory committee will comprise:

  1. At least 8 members.
  2. Members with a diverse range of expertise, interests and knowledge about the program areas relevant to the management of Australian Marine Parks.
  3. Members contributing different perspectives relevant to the management of Australian Marine Parks.
  4. An overall membership aiming for a diversity of people and expertise.
  5. A membership aiming to include First Nations members, recognising that AMPACs are not the only or primary means of engaging First Nations peoples in the management of Australian Marine Parks.


The Parks Australia manager responsible for the relevant Australian Marine Park network will chair the respective committee.


Secretariat support will be provided by Parks Australia.


The Chair may invite relevant organisations such as state and/or territory government agencies and First Nations groups to participate as observers, where appropriate.

The Chair may invite experts and/or guest speakers to a meeting where their attendance is considered beneficial or relevant to a particular agenda item.


Members will be appointed for an initial 3-year term, with the possibility of extension.

5. Recording of advice

In formulating advice for the Director, the Chair will seek to achieve consensus among Members. Where this is not achievable, the Chair will seek to establish a majority view and differing views will be noted in the minutes.

6. Reporting

Each meeting will be recorded via non-attributive meeting minutes, including noting of advice. Key outcomes of meetings will be provided on Parks Australia’s website.

Committee views on specific matters may also result in separate briefing of the Director or their delegate, as required.

Members also can contribute their views directly to the Director or their delegate via a written statement. This should be submitted to the Chair.

7. Review

Each committee will undergo an operational review, in line with the review of implementation plans. A broader review of AMPACs may also form part of the external evaluation of management plans to help inform advisory arrangements in new management plans.

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AMPAC Terms of Reference (PDF)