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Thursday, 21 June 2007
Page: 213

Senator ABETZ (Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation) (8:03 PM) —The government will be opposing the amendments. The amendments to the zoning plan process proposed in the bill will provide a comprehensive, accountable and transparent process for engagement and consultation with all stakeholders, including Indigenous people and communities. This improved process includes the provision of a wide range of environmental, social and economic information to be provided and also extends the public consultation period from a total of two to six months. I am advised that Indigenous communities were extensively engaged in development of the 2003 zoning plan and will be consulted extensively in the future. A key initiative of the current zoning plan is traditional use of marine resource agreements. These provide for direct Indigenous involvement in park management and collaboration in identifying Indigenous activities that should be allowed in the park and in what manner. This establishes a partnership with Indigenous people in determining use of the marine park in particular areas and the marine resources of particular interest, concern and value to Indigenous people. Traditional use of marine resources agreements are similar in nature to the Indigenous land use agreements, a key mechanism through which Indigenous people are engaged in land management.