Proper protection for the marine environment in balance with the ability of people to use it sustainably is important to all the people in the South-West, both current and future. For this reason, a science based approach to marine planning is essential, and the Minister for the Environment, Mr Greg Hunt, is to be commended for this approach.
When this policy of scientific review was first announced in 2010 I received a commitment from the then shadow and now minister that the South-West would lead the way in marine bioregional planning processes. Even if this review changes very little of the 2012 proposals but inspires confidence in the science behind the process, it will have achieved its goal.
I still hope to see the South-West lead the way in sound science based marine planning, with the proposals due out soon. I also hope to see us discuss the massive potential that exists in artificial reef development along the South-West coast. The state government already has reef templates in place. This will provide a base for coral spawn swept down the Leeuwin Current to establish new colonies that will future-proof the amazing reef assets of the West for millennia. That would be some outstanding marine planning and would also address some of the adaptation measures to climate change.