|Hinchinbrook Island and Channel
Photo © Pam and Peter Smith
The Department of Environment and Resource Management is revising management plans in the Hinchinbrook area. The new proposed plan is the Hinchinbrook Area Island and Marine Management Plan (HAIMMP) [161 pages].
The HAIMMP is a collation of pre-existing national park and marine park plans for Hinchinbrook Island, Family Islands (including Dunk), Goold Island, and the Brook Group of Islands. These went through a first-stage public review in 2008, and this is the second stage public review. The HAIMMP also includes the pre-existing draft Hinchinbrook Channel Marine Management Plan and the pre-existing Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's (GBRMPA) Hinchinbrook Plan of Management (HPoM).
Links from here give the Department of Environment and Resource Management proposals as well as a questions and answers on the plan and separate maps from the plan.
A guide in submissions to the Department of Environment and Resource Management on the proposed plan (HAIMMP) is to ensure that the provisions of the HAIMMP are at least as protective of biodiversity as the provisions of the existing national parks management plans; and to improve the levels of protection. We must make sure that national parks management accords with the cardinal principle - to 'provide, to the greatest possible extent, for the permanent preservation of the area's natural condition and the protection of the area's cultural resources and values' (Nature Conservation Act 1992).
The proposed plan has many great proposals but there are some clangers, for example: 70m cruise ships traversing and anchoring in the area; the 'reasonable use concept' has reappeared with its potential ugly consequences; that commercial bush walking tours be permitted on the Thorsborne Trail; no change to boating speed limits.
The proposed plan is not being supported in the North Queensland media. It reminds one of the times before the introduction of the GBRMPA and Wet Tropics Management Authority WTMA. Both had extensive poorly informed local opposition.
North Queensland Conservation Council and the Alliance to Save Hinchinbrook (ASH) have prepared concise advice in a submission to the department and you may want to use this as a template for a submission that you make. Contact the Hinchinbrook Alliance and a copy will be emailed to you.
Submissions for this draft management plan that was released mid year now close Friday 9 December 2011.
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