South-East Marine Protection Forum
The Forum was appointed by the Ministers of Conservation and Primary Industries. The Forum’s job is to recommend to the government what sites are deserving of marine protection and what type of marine protection the sites need. There are no predetermined sites for marine protection. The Forum will first consult widely with local communities and interest groups about marine protection. They will also consider any available scientific information. Then, on the basis of that first stage of information gathering, the Forum will decide on draft marine protected areas, and will notify these recommendations for formal submissions. On the basis of all the information gathered through this process, the Forum will then make a final set of recommendations to the government, on what sites should be protected and what type of protection each site needs.
It is a three stage process.
1. Initial consultation and information gathering
2. Draft recommendations notified and formal submissions considered.
3. Recommendations finalised and provided to government.
As of February 2017:
"2800 Submissions Received on Marine Protection Proposals
Thanks to each and every one of you who provided a submission. We have received a total of approximately 2800 submissions. Forum Chair, Maree Baker- Galloway says she was very pleased at the number of responses, and wasn’t surprised at the high level of engagement which the consultation process has generated given the importance of the topic.
“The south-east coast is integral to so many people’s lives on a day to day basis, and for others supports important values they want to see protected. I’m encouraged that so many members of the public have been motivated to have their say.”
We did receive some late submissions which have been approved by the Forum as they were deemed to not be holding up the submission’s analyst process in any way. No further late submissions will be accepted.
The Forum are currently working through the submissions received. Also an independent analyst has been engaged to provide a summary of submissions which will be given to the Forum. The feedback and information provided in the submissions will be considered in the Forum’s next round of deliberations and will be influential in shaping the Forum’s final recommendations to government.
Any recommendations that the government accept will then be required to go through the relevant statutory process before implementation, such as under the Fisheries Act and Marine Reserves Act for example, or through the creation of special legislation."