- Conservation and Land Management Act 1984 amendment provides for joint vesting of marine reserves
- Joint vesting of marine reserves was a McGowan Government election commitment
The McGowan Government has amended the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984 (CALM Act) to recognise and support the further involvement of Aboriginal people in the management of marine reserves.
The CALM Act is the legislation under which the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions manages reserves such as national parks, nature reserves and marine parks.
The amendments enable the joint vesting of marine parks, marine management areas and marine nature reserves with Traditional Owners. They also clarify arrangements that enable the management of marine parks for the culture and heritage of Aboriginal people.
This will allow Traditional Owners, through an Aboriginal body corporate as the joint vesting party, to have a role equal to the Conservation and Parks Commission on managing reserves, including preparing and reviewing management plans and considering licences.
Joint vesting formally recognises an equal shared responsibility between Traditional Owners and the Conservation and Parks Commission for the land and waters of marine reserves.
Previous amendments made to the CALM Act in 2015 allowed for joint vesting of terrestrial reserves such as national parks, nature reserves and conservation parks. The new amendments now extend joint vesting to marine reserves.
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Reece Whitby:
"Aboriginal culture is the oldest living culture in the world and Aboriginal people have been looking after their coast and sea country for tens of thousands of years.
"Aboriginal people have expressed a strong desire to have their connection to country recognised and acknowledged, and to ensure the management of their land and sea country not only conserves and protects the environment, but also their culture and heritage.
"In delivering this election promise, the McGowan Government is supporting further involvement of Aboriginal people in marine reserve management and is committed to improving and increasing their involvement."
Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tony Buti:
"These significant amendments to the CALM Act enable Aboriginal people to conserve their lands and waters, practise their culture and heritage, and participate in economic activities as joint managers.
"Connection to country is a key component of Closing the Gap and this is an example of positive reform to ensure decisions that impact these land and water reserves are carried out in genuine partnership."
Environment Minister's office - 6552 6300
Aboriginal Affairs Minister's office - 6552 6400