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Monday, 30 May 1994
Page: 898

(Question No. 1304)

Senator O'Chee asked the Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories, upon notice, on 7 April 1994:

  (1) What permits, licences or other such approvals have been granted by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in relation to the removal of coral from Vlassof Cay (also known as Middle Cay).

  (2) With reference to each such permit, licence or other approval referred to in (1): (a) what is the identity of each permit holder; (b) what is the date on which the permit was granted and what is its duration; (c) what is the amount of coral permitted to be removed each year and the purpose thereof; and (d) what special terms or conditions attach to the exercise of the permit.

Senator Faulkner —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

  (1) Coral collecting is jointly regulated by Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), the Queensland Department of Primary Industries (QDPI) and the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage (QDEH). In the past 12 months six operators have had permission from GBRMPA to collect coral in the vicinity of Vlassof Cay on small collecting leases. A seventh operator collected part of the quota (about 870kg) from one lease although, through administrative oversight between the QDPI and QDEH he did not obtain a corresponding GBRMPA permit for 1993 (although he has applied for one for 1994).

  (2) (a) and (b)

GBRMPA Permit Holder Date from which Date of Permit

Permit applies Expiry

Duncan Holland 24 May 1993 31 December 1993

Raymond Charles Reddacliff* 26 April 1993 31 December 1993

Mike Lark* 18 May 1993 31 December 1993

Geoffrey Hugh Prudence 26 May 1993 31 December 1993

John B Felderhof 27 April 1993 31 December 1993

Peter Boserio 27 October 1992 31 January 1993

* Raymond Reddacliff and Mike Lark have applied to renew their permits and in accordance with Regulation 19D of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations these existing permits are regarded as valid until such time as a decision is made to grant or refuse their applications for renewal.

  (c) Duncan Holland is permitted to collect two tonnes of coral and the remaining operators are permitted to collect one tonne each—a total of 7 tonnes from the two collecting leases near Vlassof Cay.

  The purpose for which the coral is collected is not specified in the permit however it is understood that the majority is used in local aquaria.

  (d) These coral collecting operations are subject to special terms and conditions which are defined in each Permit document. These conditions are summarised as follows:

  The permits are not transferable and the conditions of the permit apply to all employees of the Permittee or other persons acting on behalf of or at the direction of the Permittee for the purposes specified in the permits.

  All activities must be undertaken in accordance with the provisions of any relevant zoning plans and regulations in force from time to time under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 or the Marine Parks Act 1982 (Qld).

  All activities must be undertaken in accordance with the provisions of the laws in force from time to time in the State of Queensland.

  The permit must be available for inspection by an officer of the Managing Agency.

  The permittee must inform participants in the program of any restriction applying under relevant zoning plans, Marine Parks regulations and this permit.

  This Permit is not valid unless a current Queensland Department of Primary Industries licence to collect coral is held.

  Collecting is limited to and must not occur outside of the area defined.

  The Permittee must be present at all collecting operations under his/her permit.

  A collecting report on the form supplied must be forwarded at three (3) monthly intervals to the Regional Director, Department of Environment and Heritage.