No easy fix for marine park plan

It was unrealistic to expect that all interest groups would get what they wanted in the Cape Byron Marine Park plan.

This was the message delivered by Marine Parks Authority (MPA) chair and and Director-General of the NSW Premier's Department Dr Col Gellatly at a meeting in Byron Bay recently.

"As there are many competing issues it is not realistic to expect that everyone would get 100 per cent of what they want, however I am very impressed with the level of co-operation between a number of interest groups working together to meet a range of users needs," he said.

The MPA met with the local Cape Byron Marine Park Advisory Committee to discuss the Cape Byron Marine Park Draft Planning Scheme which is currently out for public consultation.

Dr Gellatly said the purpose of the visit was to enable the advisory committee to raise issues directly to the authority on the draft planning scheme.

"The primary aim of the visit was to ensure that we had direct feedback from the committee prior to completion of the draft planning scheme."

The draft plan is on public exhibition until next Tuesday.

Dr Gellatly said there was a range of detailed presentations from the interest groups represented on the committee.

He said he was very pleased with the positive and constructive nature of the meeting.

"Some of the issues raised by the advisory committee included the permit systems for commercial operators, anchoring on reefs, and indigenous issues. These matters will be considered along with other public submissions in the finalisation of the zoning plan which is expected to be ready before the middle of next year."

Dr Gellatly also met with Arakwal Elders and Yvonne Stewart, Chair of the Arakwal National Park Management Committee, and inspected the new Arakwal Field Service Centre, a joint National Parks and Wildlife Service and MPA facility near Tallow Beach.

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