At the WA Labor conference this weekend the party has re-affirmed their commitment to establishing a network of marine parks and sanctuaries in the Kimberley – the Great Kimberley Marine Park.
This maintains the bi-partisan support for marine parks in the Kimberley with the Barnett State Government continuing to push forward with their election commitment to establish the Horizontal Falls, North Kimberley and Roebuck Bay marine parks to add to the existing Eighty Mile Beach and Camden Sound parks.
Labor’s fisheries spokesperson Dave Kelly also reiterated Labor’s support for a sanctuary zone in Roebuck Bay in his speech on the environment at conference. This adds to his speech that included the subject in Parliament on 20th August (the transcript can be accessed Dave Kelly on Roebuck Bay)
The WA Government released the Roebuck Bay marine park in draft form for three months consultation without a marine sanctuary zone. The Kimberley Like Nowhere Else is running a local, state and national campaign for a sanctuary zone in the final marine park to ensure proper protection for the rich marine life of Roebuck Bay, including the unique snubfin dolphins.
As outlined in the speech above, support for a sanctuary zone came after Dave Kelly visited Broome and spoke to local community leaders and business interests, and read letters from 32 Roebuck Bay marine science researchers and from local tourism operators who support a marine sanctuary.
The Government is taking submissions on the draft Roebuck Bay marine park until the 25th September. The squid is very hopeful that the Government will consider the overwhelming support for a marine sanctuary zone in Roebuck Bay based on overwhelming support from the local community, local tourism businesses and scientists. To date, 10,000 people have made submissions.