Australian Marine Parks

Monday 27 May 2019 — Sydney

The inaugural meeting of the Temperate East Marine Parks Advisory Committee (TEMPAC) was held in Sydney on Monday 27 May 2019.

This meeting marked the beginning of a two year term for the 12 newly appointed members. Individual members were selected from a large number of applicants who responded to a public expression of interest process open to all Australians last year.

Appointment of the Committee represents an important step in implementing actions in the Temperate East Marine Parks Network Management Plan that came into effect 1 July 2018.

The role of the Committee is advisory, not regulatory, and will guide Parks Australia and the Director of National Parks on key aspects of marine park management.

Member attendance:

Hilary Schofield (Chair), Adrian Wayne, Bob Creese, Brian Busteed, Chris Fulton, David Major, Joe McNulty, John Burgess, Peter Cochrane, Rick Stuart-Smith, Rosemary Black, Steve Whalan, Tricia Beatty.

Observer:

The invited Observer was from the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Welcoming the new members

At the inaugural Temperate East Marine Parks Advisory Committee meeting, Parks Australia welcomed the new members who bring a wealth of experience from across the region on issues critical to marine park management including tourism, fishing, sea country values, science, conservation, governance and communications.

Uncle Allan Murray from the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council welcomed members to country.

The morning session focused on introducing new members to Australian Marine Parks, the Temperate East marine region and Parks Australia’s management vision and objectives. Presentations set the scene for a discussion with members about the implementation of the Temperate East Marine Parks Network Management Plan.

Implementation Plan – Foundation

The key focus of the first meeting was the Foundation Phase Implementation Plan, which identifies management actions across the first 4 years of management (2018-2022).

Under each of the seven programs advice from Committee members was sought on:

  • subject or location specific management needs and opportunities
  • relevant work and programs recently completed, underway or planned that can inform park management
  • marine park user/stakeholder information needs and engagement opportunities.

Communication, Education and Awareness Program

Suggestions focused on ways to improve awareness, understanding and support for marine parks. The Committee highlighted a number of regional events that Parks Australia could attend to engage with stakeholders and the general public.

Tourism and Visitor Experience Program

Discussions focused around investigating opportunities for partnership with museums and visitor centres. Educating visitors on pressures and threats was identified as one way of enhancing the understanding of marine parks through tourism activities.

Indigenous Engagement Program

Opportunities to utilise existing relationships and engagement processes was identified as important to supporting Aboriginal people to engage in marine park management.

Marine Science Program

Actions to improve knowledge and understanding of marine park values and pressures were discussed, including current and future monitoring programs.

Assessments and Authorisations Program

Parks Australia’s approach to authorising activities in marine parks was discussed, including use of the online application system. Information about Parks Australia’s authorisations – permits, class approvals, and activity licences and leases is available here.

Parks Protection and Management Program

The Committee was provided with an overview of actions to date involving infrastructure maintenance. The future focus of this work includes development of a critical incident response plan.

Compliance Program

Parks Australia explained the application of a risk based approach to developing the annual Temperate East Network compliance plan. Discussions focused on the benefit of real-time responses to non-compliance and two innovative projects underway in the Temperate East using acoustic systems and VMS to understand patterns of use by small vessels.

Next Meeting

The next Committee meeting is likely to be held in November 2019.