Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson today announced the commencement of public consultation on future management arrangements for the protection of grey nurse sharks in NSW, releasing a discussion paper.
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Katrina Hodgkinson said the announcement follows the promise made by the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government to revoke the hastily implemented closures brought in by the former Labor Government and put the issue back out to further public consultation for three months.
'The NSW Government is committed to delivering a solution that ensures the best outcome is achieved for both the grey nurse shark population in NSW and local communities,' Katrina Hodgkinson said.
'As promised prior to the election, we want to ensure the public as well as the scientific community have a proper chance to be consulted before any final decision is made.
'The NSW Government has also committed to a scientific audit of the effectiveness of marine park zoning and the existing grey nurse shark management arrangements.
'The outcomes from community consultation and the scientific audit will be used to guide the development of new management arrangements for Fish Rock and Green Island.
'Fishing and diving provide many social and economic benefits to local and regional communities and it is important that the community get a clear understanding of exactly what is proposed and have the chance to provide input before final decisions are made.'
Ms Hodgkinson said copies of the discussion paper will be available on the NSW Department of Primary Industries website and from local Fisheries and Marine Park offices.
'The discussion paper will be mailed out widely to interest groups and key stakeholders to ensure everyone has a chance to provide comment,' Katrina Hodgkinson said.
'We will also be holding public information sessions at venues along the NSW coast in July, with details to be advertised in local papers.
'I invite everyone with an interest in this issue to have their say.'
The public consultation period will close on Friday 26 August.
Submissions can be submitted online or by completing a submission form and mailing, emailing or faxing it to the address on the form.
Department of Primary Industries NSW website