Thursday 19 October 2006
TAMAR ESTUARY MARINE ENVIRONMENT PLAN
Mr FINCH (Question) - My question is to the Leader. What progress has been made under the Government's partnership agreement with the West Tamar Council in implementing the six-action schedule to deal with the Tamar estuary marine environment? If the six-point plan has not been fully implemented, when does the Government expect it to be complete?
Mr PARKINSON - I thank the honourable member for his question. In relation to the first part, the partnership agreement with West Tamar Council has six actions related to the Tamar estuary marine environment. The parties to the action are the Department of Primary Industry and Water and the West Tamar Council. They agreed to:
1. a review of existing information and information-gathering processes on the Tamar estuary marine environment;
2. identification of marine environmental monitoring needs within the Tamar estuary in consultation with other councils and relevant stakeholders;
3. assessment of resources required to deliver identified environmental monitoring needs;
4. working with stakeholders and other councils to prioritise the environmental monitoring needs in accordance with existing DPIW, council and stakeholder resources;
5. initiating the highest-priority marine environmental monitoring requirements within the Tamar estuary;
6. progressive implementation of subsequent marine environmental monitoring needs as resources become available from DPIW, council or stakeholders.
Reports as part of the monitoring of the partnership agreement indicate that DPIW has undertaken a review of existing information and information-gathering processes on a Tamar estuary marine environment, compiled a report and sent it to the council. It was recently discussed with council staff and a meeting is to be arranged when council has reviewed the document. The council continues to be involved in the operation of the Tamar Natural Resource Management Group, and through the group continues to support the review of existing information and information-gathering processes relating to the Tamar estuary marine environment.
Action is occurring in relation to rice grass infestations as part of a broader State program. DPIW staff and community volunteers conducted a rice grass survey of the Tamar estuary in February 2006. Funding has been secured for three years for continuation of that program, with community representatives being largely responsible for monitoring and control of the weed in the longer term.
As far as the second part of the question is concerned, Mr President, both the State Government and the West Tamar Council have agreed to negotiate a second partnership agreement. A review of the first agreement has commenced. Parties may agree to continue to address the issue of the Tamar estuary marine environment, possibly with new or amended actions and time frames. Actions would also take account of other developments such as in its 2006 State Budget, the Government committed funding to continue the 2005-06 $4.6 million Living Environment Program. The Living Environment Program includes a project called the Tamar Estuary Program which aims to include an updated state of the Tamar report, and the preparation of a Tamar estuary management plan.
In September 2006, Natural Resource Management North received $53 000 funding from the Commonwealth's National Heritage Trust for the Tamar estuary 2020 project. The project aims to draft a foreshore management plan and planning guidelines, and deliver analysis and mapping of vegetation