Australian Marine Parks

Monday 20 March 2023


Public comment periods now open 

New South-east Management Plan and proposed expansion of Macquarie Island Marine Park 

The Director of National Parks is inviting public comments for a period of 60 days on two concurrent initiatives:

  • The intention to prepare a draft management plan for the South-east Marine Parks Network, and
  • The proposal to expand the existing Macquarie Island Marine Park.

Macquarie Island Marine Park is one of 14 parks in the South-east Network. On 23 February 2023, the Minister for the Environment and Water announced her intent to expand this park. This proposal aims to increase protection of a unique environment, which supports significant biodiversity and has experienced relatively low levels of disturbance.

The other 13 marine parks of the South-east Network are off the coast of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. The total Network currently covers an area of 388,464 square kilometres. The parks are home to a diverse range of marine species that include many which are unique to this part of the world.

The current 2013 South-east Marine Parks Network Management Plan is due to expire in June 2023 and a new management plan is required. This process is an opportunity to consider lessons learned and adapt the management plan to take new information into account. Each management plan is reviewed and assessed on its own merits, subject to the best available science and evidence provided during statutory consultation processes.

This first public comment period is your opportunity to have your say on the design and future management of marine parks in the South-east marine region. Following this first stage, Parks Australia will prepare a draft management plan for a second period of public consultation. The South-east Network will continue to be managed under the current management plan until a new management plan is finalised.

The Australian Government has committed to undertake the statutory reviews of marine park management plans in a consultative way, with any changes to marine park management based on science and stakeholder input.

More information, including resources and instructions on how to have your say are available on the Macquarie Island Marine Park Page, and the South-east Marine Parks Network page.