Significant progress for environmental protection of Exmouth Gulf

  • 2022-23 State Budget to enhance protection of Exmouth Gulf
  • Builds on historic announcement by McGowan Government to safeguard the area
  • Planning for a new marine park in Exmouth Gulf about to commence
  • Ms Laine Ashforth-McDonald to Chair new Exmouth Gulf Taskforce
  • The McGowan Labor Government has allocated $3.4 million in the 2022-23 State Budget to advance planning and protections of Exmouth Gulf.

    The commitment will provide $800,000 in funding to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions to establish a new marine park in Exmouth Gulf. This includes funding for co-designing the marine park with Traditional Owners, alongside the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and engagement of key stakeholders, including the Exmouth community.

    The State Government announced last year it would protect Exmouth Gulf and its surrounds by implementing historic conservation measures to safeguard this important place in Western Australia.

    The new marine park will be established over the eastern and southern parts of the Exmouth Gulf, and Class A reserves will be gazetted for local areas of significance such as Qualing Pool, Camerons Cave and the islands of Exmouth Gulf.

    These measures are being implemented following recommendations from the Environmental Protection Authority, helping to preserve the area’s unique environmental and cultural values.

    A further $2.6 million is being provided to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation to support the Exmouth Gulf Taskforce, which is being established to assist the State Government’s broader consideration of strategic issues relating to Exmouth Gulf and its surrounds.

                                                        

    Ms Laine Ashforth-McDonald has been appointed Chair of the Taskforce. Ms Ashforth-McDonald has extensive experience both as a Member of the Legislative Council and in her work as a Senior Associate at Slater and Gordon Lawyers.

    The Taskforce membership will consist of the independent Chair and up to 15 members, including relevant government agencies, stakeholders and community. Nominations for the community members will open shortly.

    As stated by Environment Minister Reece Whitby:

    “The Exmouth Gulf is a stunning place and critically important to our State’s biodiversity.

    “It is globally recognised for its environmental and cultural values so a very high level of protection is required.

    “As a government we are committed to investing in strong and vibrant regions and to enhancing the protection of our important natural areas.”

    As stated by Fisheries Minister Don Punch:

    “I am very pleased to see planning for the marine park commencing, which will coexist with existing commercial fishing operations and ensure this unique area of our State is protected for generations to come.

    “I am looking forward to seeing the newly appointed Chair lead a unified approach to the protection of the Exmouth Gulf through genuine engagement with our recreational, charter and commercial fishers.”

    Environment Minister’s office – 6552 6300

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