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					Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology & the Arts Legislation Committee ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE Environment and Heritage Budget Estimates 2006-2007, May 2006

Outcome: Division/Agency: Topic: Hansard Page ECITA:

1. Environment

Question No: 37

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) GBRMPA Staff 30

Senator McLucas asked: Do you have a document that you would like to table? Answer: GBRMPA Staffing by Output (30 April 2006) Conservation, Heritage and Indigenous Partnerships Water Quality and Coastal Development Fisheries Tourism & Recreation Park Management  Field Management  Planning & Impact Assessment Science & Information for Management Communication & Education Reef HQ (Public Aquarium) Sub-Total Direct Outputs Executive Community Engagement & Partnerships Ministerial Liaison & Legal Services Corporate Services Total All Staff
Full Time Equivalent

9.67 8.53 4.00 7.69 18.00 20.87 38.87 32.00 15.20 26.98 142.94 7.00 9.80 6.00 22.77 188.51

The table includes Reef HQ casual staff and temp-agency personnel, but excludes staff on secondment, or long term leave.

Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology & the Arts Legislation Committee ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE Environment and Heritage Budget Estimates 2006-2007, May 2006

Outcome: Sub Outcome: Division/Agency: Topic: Hansard Page ECITA:

1. Environment

Question No: 38

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) Clarification of funding for water quality monitoring 38

Senator McLucas asked: Can you confirm, and maybe Mr Barrett will be able to help us here, that the actual contribution by the Commonwealth to water quality in coastal development, both in the departmental appropriations and other resources available to be used, are in fact less this year? Answer/s: No. Not all allocations for GBR water quality monitoring have been announced.

Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology & the Arts Legislation Committee ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE Environment and Heritage Budget Estimates 2006-2007, May 2006

Outcome: Division/Agency: Topic: Hansard Page ECITA:

1. Environment

Question No: 39

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) Environmental Management Charge (EMC) percentage 41

Senator Macdonald asked: Of your total operating costs I probably should say, what percentage is the EMC? Answer: The Environmental Management Charge (EMC) is paid into Consolidated Revenue and then returned, in full, to the GBRMPA as a Special Appropriation. The Special Appropriation is 32 per cent of total departmental appropriations for operations and funds 20 per cent of the GBRMPA’s total operating expenses.

Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology & the Arts Legislation Committee ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE Environment and Heritage Budget Estimates 2006-2007, May 2006

Outcome: Sub Outcome Division/Agency: Topic: Hansard Page ECITA:

1. Environment

Question No: 40

Protection, wise use, understanding and enjoyment of the Great Barrier Reef Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) GBRMPA Consultancy Work 43

Senator Macdonald asked: Do you offer yourself for paid consultancy work to other areas or do people just want you to give this advice free? I would be interested in getting a bit more on that, perhaps on notice. Answers: Section 7A of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act provides a mechanism for the provision of assistance to others in matters relating to environmental management. In this manner, up until 1999 the GBRMPA actively sought to provide training and advisory services on a full cost recovery basis. Upon review, it was decided that this approach, although within the legislative functions of the Authority, was beginning to unacceptably impact on core business functions of the agency. Since that time, the Authority has undertaken a balancing act in this regard. While recognising that providing advice to others was not core business and should not detract from core business it was nevertheless recognised that engagement with other agencies, groups and governments involved in marine natural resource management had positive outcomes in two areas:  it allowed the GBRMPA to share its lessons learned with like-minded organisations with the view to showcasing GBRMPA’s and Australia’s expertise in these matters thus helping to fulfill our international obligations towards global marine conservation management; and it allowed the GBRMPA to learn from others.

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Staff engagement of this kind usually falls into one of two categories:  The provision of training services domestically (almost invariably on the basis of overseas study tours visiting GBRMPA for presentations by staff); or  Staff attendance at relevant (usually overseas) conferences and meetings. It is current practice to assess any request for GBRMPA staff to act in a capacity building manner on a risk assessment basis. In other words, is the GBRMPA being asked to provide resources (staff, staff time, etc) to an extent that will adversely affect core business.

Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology & the Arts Legislation Committee ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE Environment and Heritage Budget Estimates 2006-2007, May 2006

In 2005/2006 there were 18 visits to GBRMPA offices by overseas groups comprising a total of 121 persons from 22 countries. These visits were usually half-day (or less) briefings from staff for which it was decided that cost recovery would be unwarranted. At the same time, 13 staff travelled overseas on 19 occasions to attend conferences and meetings germane to GRMPA core business. The full costs for this overseas travel was borne by the GBRMPA on only five occasions. On each occasion that GBRMPA staff engage with overseas counterparts, Australian world’s best practice management is being showcased. In particular, staff have made use of international fora such as the International Tropical Marine Ecosystems Management Symposium (ITMEMS), the International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC) and meetings of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) to very cost-effectively promote the work of the Authority. The work of the GBRMPA has been recognised both nationally and internationally. A list of awards is attached and is also available on the GBRMPA web-site.

Awards resulting from the Representative Areas Programme and the rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
Since 2004, regional, national and international recognition of the Representative Areas Program and the rezoning process led to various awards, including:  Australian Government Agencies – Queensland Regional Heads Forum “2004 RHF Excellence Awards Winner” - Presented to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for the Representative Areas Program – Rezoning the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Planning Institute of Australia, Queensland Division – 2004 Awards for Excellence in Planning - Sinclair Knight Merz “Environmental Planning or Conservation Award”. Presented to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for Planning for the Future of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park: - Representative Areas Program Planning Institute of Australia – Queensland Division – 2004 Awards for Excellence in Planning - “Overall Winner 20004 PIA (QLD) Award for Excellence in Planning”. Presented to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for Planning for the Future of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park: - Representative Areas Program Planning Institute of Australia, Queensland Division – 2004 Awards for Excellence in Planning - Powerlink Queensland “Community Based Planning Award” - Presented to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for Achieving Goals Through Community Based Planning:Representative Areas Program 2004 ESRI International User Conference - “Special Achievements in GIS” - Presented to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Resolution 40, World Conservation Congress, IUCN (the World Conservation Union), Bangkok Nov. 2004, congratulated the Australian Government on its recent achievement of significantly increasing protection for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area and commended it for its global leadership in the protection of this outstanding site of universal value. “Fred Packard International Parks Merit Award” jointly presented to Virginia Chadwick, Chairman, GBRMPA, and Imogen Zethoven, WWF, in recognition of outstanding service in furthering the conservation objectives of protected areas to society. “2004 Botanic Gardens Trust Eureka Prize for Biodiversity Research” Presented to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park: - Representative Areas Program “2004 Banksia Environmental Award for Government Leading by Example for a Sustainable Future” Presented to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority – Representative Areas Program for An Ecosystem Approach to Protecting Diversity Planning Institute of Australia – 2005 Awards for Excellence in Planning - National “Community Based Planning Award” - Presented to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for Achieving Goals Through Community Based Planning:- Representative Areas Program Planning Institute of Australia – 2005 Awards for Excellence in Planning - National “Planning Minister’s Award” - Presented to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority recognising the

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international importance of this project, both in scale and the excellence of the process for the Representative Areas Program.  2005 Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation for UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme, presented jointly to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (Australia) and Dr Ernesto C. Enkerlin-Hoeflich (Mexico)

In addition, at the first International Marine Protected Areas Congress held in October 2006, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Campbell, accepted a 'Gift to the Earth' award from the WWF on behalf of the Australian Government, in recognition of the Government's efforts in designing and implementing the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park zoning plan.

Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology & the Arts Legislation Committee ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE Environment and Heritage Budget Estimates 2006-2007, May 2006

Outcome: Sub Outcome Division/Agency: Topic: Hansard Page ECITA:

1. Environment

Question No: 41

Protection, wise use, understanding and enjoyment of the Great Barrier Reef Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) Indigenous Staff 44

Senator Bartlett asked: Could you tell me have many Indigenous staff you have? Answer: The GBRMPA currently has eight (8) indigenous staff.

Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology & the Arts Legislation Committee ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE Environment and Heritage Budget Estimates 2006-2007, May 2006

Outcome: Sub Outcome Division/Agency: Topic: Hansard Page ECITA:

1. Environment

Question No: 42

Protection, wise use, understanding and enjoyment of the Great Barrier Reef Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) Great Barrier Reef Re-zoning 46

Senator Joyce asked: Obviously, you would have heard ad nauseam about the studies of people such as Dr Walter Starck—and correct me if I am wrong—that fishing on the reef was at about seventeen kilograms per square kilometre. Would you agree with that? Do you know? Other fisheries in the world collect up to 7,000 kilograms of fish per square kilometre. Prior to the expansion of the zones, what was the evidence of the main environmental threats that inspired it, and can you direct me to the paper that states these in detail, and have the expanded zones alleviated these issues? Answers: The GBRMPA is aware of the opinion piece written by Dr Starck and published by the Institute for Public Affairs in May 2005. This piece is not an original study of the Great Barrier Reef; rather it is a compilation of Dr Starck’s opinions about the body of scientific work done by others on the Great Barrier Reef. The vast majority of published research by scientists with strong recent records of undertaking science on the Great Barrier Reef, does not support Dr Starck’s opinions. Based on a standard search of the scientific literature it is the GBRMPA’s understanding that Dr Starck has only ever published fewer than ten items of scientific literature; that he has not published any scientific literature since 1982; that he has not conducted any published research on environmental issues in the Great Barrier Reef; and that he has not conducted any published research on the effects of marine protected areas. Dr Starck’s figures relating to the amount of fish taken from the Great Barrier Reef are wrong. In his calculations, he grossly over-estimates the area of coral reef in the Great Barrier Reef and he fails to take into account catch of fish by recreational fishermen. Consequently, his estimate of take of fish per unit area from the Great Barrier Reef is highly inaccurate. Further, Dr Starck completely ignores the presence of trawl, net, crab and other fisheries in the Great Barrier Reef. Dr Starck’s comparison of the Great Barrier Reef coral reef fish fishery with those from other Pacific nations is invalid. In the Great Barrier Reef, this fishery focuses almost completely on a small suite of species that are mostly top end predators. Throughout the Pacific, fisheries focus on a much wider suite of species, of which the species preferred by Great Barrier Reef

Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology & the Arts Legislation Committee ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE Environment and Heritage Budget Estimates 2006-2007, May 2006 fishermen are only a small percentage. These species are not taken in the Great Barrier Reef because they have lower economic value and are less sought after as table fish in Australia. The GBRMPA has corresponded with the authors of the study on Pacific fisheries (from which the figure of 7,000 kilograms of fish per square kilometre is derived) cited by Dr Starck, and the authors strongly disagree with his comparisons between the Great Barrier Reef and other Pacific coral reef systems. Catch per unit effort (CPUE) is a globally accepted though not perfect measure of the health of a fishery. The web site of the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (QDPI&F) gives data for the commercial coral trout fishery in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park from 1988 to 2003. CPUE fluctuated over this period but the general trend was a decline, with a maximum of 87 kg /day for the fleet in 1992 to 59 kg/day at the end of the series in 2003. In other words it was taking longer (requiring more effort) to catch coral troutthis was not an encouraging sign for the future of the fishery. These trends are reflected in QDPI&F reports on the state of fisheries resources where declines in coral trout numbers over a fifteen year period for the dry tropical and Swains regions of the Marine Park are noted as a concern. The Queensland Government Coral Reef Finfish Management Plan and the Australian Government Zoning Plan, both introduced in 2004, are expected to arrest this decline. However, the Zoning Plan is not primarily a fisheries management tool designed to stabilise fisheries production. The primary objective of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan is to protect biodiversity and improve resilience through increasing the area of the Marine Park from which animals and plants cannot be removed or otherwise interfered with. Global trends do not paint an encouraging picture for coral reefs into the future. The latest report on the state of coral reefs of the world indicates that twenty per cent of the world’s coral reefs have been effectively destroyed, the report predicts that twenty-four per cent of the world’s reefs are under imminent risk of collapse and a further twenty-six per cent are under longer term threat of collapse. Causes of these declines are a combination of pressures from poor land management practices, over fishing and destructive fishing methods, poor governance as well as climate change. Though the Great Barrier Reef is in better condition than most reef systems, only continued, responsible and forward thinking management, will ensure its survival for future generations. There are substantial bodies of literature on the threats to the Great Barrier Reef (selected bibliography at Attachment 1) and the effectiveness of no-take areas (selected bibliography at Attachment 2).

Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology & the Arts Legislation Committee ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE Environment and Heritage Budget Estimates 2006-2007, May 2006

Outcome: Sub Outcome Division/Agency: Topic: Hansard Page ECITA:

1. Environment

Question No: 43

Protection, wise use, understanding and enjoyment of the Great Barrier Reef Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Maximum Green Zone Fines 49-51

Senator Joyce asked: In your view, do they match the crime? For example, for fishing in the wrong zone, what is the maximum fine I could get? (as an individual). What is the maximum fine for a commercial fishing vessel in the green zone? Answers: The maximum fine for illegal fishing in a green zone for any individual is $220,000. As with other areas of the law, magistrates take into account the full circumstances of each case in determining appropriate penalties. There is a wide variety of potential green zone fishing breaches, including commercial trawling and netting and commercial and recreational line fishing by locals and visitors. Offences may be determined to be intentional or negligent. Commercial fishers have been fined up to $27,500 for line fishing in green zones, while recreational fishers’ penalties under the new Zoning Plan have generally been between $900 and $1,800.

Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology & the Arts Legislation Committee ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE Environment and Heritage Budget Estimates 2006-2007, May 2006

Outcome: Sub Outcome Division/Agency: Topic: Hansard Page ECITA:

1. Environment

Question No: 44

Protection, wise use, understanding and enjoyment of the Great Barrier Reef Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) In-kind contribution to Marine & Tropical Sciences Research Facility (MTSRF) 42

Senator MacDonald asked: So until the new reef and rainforest organisation is up and running, you are not in a position to make any decisions on what goes to them and what goes elsewhere? Answer: The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) has identified $3.9 million of activity in its proposed 2006/2007 work programme that will support and assist the proposed Annual Research Plan for the Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility (MTSRF). The GBRMPA has offered these activities as in-kind contributions to the MTSRF (attached). As the Annual Research Plan is developed further, the GBRMPA anticipates being able to make further contributions, including cash contributions. Cash contributions will be directed to projects that are expected to deliver the maximum benefit to management of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.