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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 5070

GREAT BARRIER REEF

Photo of Fraser, Malcolm

Fraser, Malcolm

Period of Service: 11/11/1975 to 11/03/1983

More information about Fraser, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/06/1979

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 5070

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FOR MEDIA 14 JUNE 1979
GREAT BARRIER REEF
The Prime Minister, Mr Malcolm Fraser and the Premier,
Mr Joh Bjelke-Petersen, conferred today on the future
consultative arrangements for joint consideration of
recom-mendations of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
Authority. This Authority is established by the Commonwealth
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act, which will continue
unchanged. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is designed to
provide for the progressive declarations and oversight of
Marine Parks in the Region of the Great Barrier Reef. The
boundaries of this Region will remain as defined in the
Corroonwealth legislation.
No provision has to date been made for both governments to
co-ordinate policy at the ministerial level. Accordingly,
it was agreed at today's meeting to establish a Ministerial
Council comprising Commonwealth and State Ministers particularly
representing marine park, conservation, science and tourism.
The Commonwealth Ministers will be Phillip Lynch, the Minister
for Industry and Commerce, whose portfolio responsibilities
include tourism a major activity in the area of the
Great Barrier Reef and Senator Webster, the Minister for
Science and the Environment who is directly responsible for
the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
The Queensland Ministers will be Mr Newberry, the Minister for
Culture, National Parks and Recreation, and Mr Hodges, the
Minister for Maritime Services and Tourism.
Mr Fraser and Mr Bjelke-Petersen agreed that the first section
of t-h_ Great Barrier Reef Marine Park the Capricornia
secticn should be processed by the Ministerial Council as
an L74Tediate task to enable-early proclamation to take place.
They also agreed that as the sections of the Great Barrier
Reef Marine Park are procliamed, the day-to-day management
should be undertaken by officers of the Queensland National
Parks and Wildlife Service, who, in discharging these
responsibilities, will be subject to the Great Barrier Reef
Marine Park Authority. The Authority will continue to have
the responsibility for:
recommending the declaration of Parks; / 2

-2
developing zoning plans and plans of
management of Parks; and
arranging for research and investigation
relevant to Marine Parks.
In relation to the Territorial sea, the Premier and the
Prime Minister agreed that the arrangements with Queensland
which will flow from the agreements of the June 1978 Premiers'
Conference will be on the same basis as arrangements to be
entered into in respect of other States, but with full
regard to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act and to the
Prime Minister's Parliamentary Statement of 4 June on
Petroleum Exploration in the Great Barrier Reef.
Both the Premier and the Prime Minister confirmed that it was
the policies of their respective governments to prohibit any
drilling on the Reef or any drilling or mnining which could
damage the Reef.
Mr Bjelke-Petersen and Mr Fraser agreed that -the program of
short and longer termn research into the Great Barrier Reef
eco-system referred to in that Statement will be monitored
by the Ministerial Council, and will be closely supervised
by -the Marine Park AuthoriLty.
By creating an appropriate consultative mechanism these
arrangements will serve to ensure that the Authority functions
within the framework of the joint policies of the Commonwealth
and Queensland Governments as they further develop.
The two Governments will be consulting forthwith on implementation
of these arrangements.
Both the Premier and the Prime Minister affirmed that the
basic policy intention of both governments was to ensure that
the Great Barrier Reef area be recognised and preserved
as an important feature of Queensland's and Australia's
heritage.

Transcript 5070