Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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GREAT BARRIER REEF MARINE PARK REGULATIONS (AMENDMENT) 1992 NO. 69

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

STATUTORY RULES 1992 No. 69

Issued under the authority of the Minister for the Arts, Sport, the Environment, and Territories

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations (Amendment)

The purpose of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations (Amendment) is to give effect to certain provisions of the new Cairns Section Zoning Plan which will come into effect on 3 April 1992 and to make further amendments to the Regulations as outlined below.

Regulation 1 makes 3 April 1992 the date on which these Regulations commence.

Regulation 2 provides for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations to be amended.

Regulation 3 omits the present definition of the Cairns Section in Regulation 4 and inserts the definition as declared by the Proclamation (made pursuant to S.31 of the Act) dated 13 September 1989. The definition of the Cormorant Pass Section is omitted because that section was amalgamated with Cairns Section in the above Proclamation. The Cormorant Pass Section is also omitted from the definition of zone for the same reason.

Regulation 4 amends the heading of Part II of the Regulations to omit reference to the Cairns Section which is transferred to Part IIA of the Regulations (by Regulations 6 and 7 below). Reference to the nonexistent Cormorant Pass Section is also deleted. The change to the numbering of the Part reflects current legislative drafting practice.

Regulation 5 omits reference to the Cairns and Cormorant Pass Sections in the definition of zone in Regulation 6A.

Regulation 6 amends the heading of Part IIA to incorporate the Cairns Section. The new Cairns Section Zoning Plan has a format similar to the Central and. Mackay/ Capricorn Sections of the Park and it is appropriate that it is transferred to that part of the Regulations. It is anticipated that the Far Northern Section after review will also be transferred to Part 2A of the ,Regulations. At that time Part 2 can be omitted in its entirety. The change to the numbering of the Part reflects current legislative drafting practice.

Regulation 7 amends the definition of zone in Regulation 13AA to include reference to the Cairns Section.

Regulation 8 amends Regulation 13AB in the following ways:

       Since the provisions relate to more than one zoning plan, references to 'the zoning plan' in the Regulation are changed to references to 'a zoning plan'.

       Regulation 13AB(2)(b) is amended so that the limit of no more than 5 of any one species in any 28 day period does not apply to the commercial crustacean and mollusc species (as listed in a new. Schedule 1C) for the purposes of limited collecting.

       A new Subregulation 13AB(2)(c) is added to make it clear that the species listed in Schedule 1C cannot be collected with the aid of any underwater breathing apparatus other than a snorkel.

       Subregulation 13AB(3) has been re-drafted (in conjunction with the addition of a new Schedule 1D) so that the commercial crustacean and mollusc species can be 'collected' as well as 'fished'. As the Regulations stood those species could be taken by the fishing methods provided for in the zoning plans but they could not be collected. The change overcomes a legal distinction between the allowed methods for taking these species which had no useful basis in management of the species.

       Subregulation 13AB(3A) is added to define the minimum requirements for trawl equipment to be stowed and secured in certain zones of the Cairns Section of the Park. This definition is effectively the same as that used in zoning plans for the other Sections of the Park.

       Subregulations 13AB(6) and (7) are amended so that crab hooks are no longer approved apparatus for the taking of crabs in the Park. This amendment brings the Regulations in line with Queensland legislation in this respect.

Regulation 9 amends Subregulation 13AC(4) as follows:

       The word 'and' is added to the ends of certain paragraphs. This amendment reflects current legislative drafting practice.

       Subregulation 13AC(4)(b) is omitted and a new paragraph substituted which is in accordance with the object of the Act and implements current thinking on the importance of matters ,relating to 'cultural heritage'. The Authority, in assessing whether to grant or refuse a permit (for zoned sections other than the Far Northern Section), will now be required to have regard to 'the need to protect the cultural and heritage values held in relation to the Marine Park by traditional inhabitants and other people'. The phrase is meant to be broader than the term 'cultural heritage' as defined in the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage and includes shipwrecks and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional community practices.

       The Subregulation is reorganised so that "the need to ensure the orderly and proper management of the Marine Park" (a matter to' which the Authority is required to have regard - the former 13AC(4)(b)) is transferred to the end of the Subregulation and redrafted to read "any other requirements for ensuring the orderly and proper management of the Marine Park". The preceding matters in the Subregulation also relate to the orderly and proper management of the Marine Park.

Regulation 10 amends Regulation 13C which relates to the consideration of applications to carry out a prescribed activity in unzoned areas of the Park. There are no unzoned areas of the Park at present. The amendments to Regulation 13C achieve the same effect as does Regulation 9 in relation to Subregulation 13AC(4).

Regulation 11 amends Regulation 13G to broaden the circumstances in which the Authority can take steps to ensure that material brought into the Park pursuant to a permit is not left in the Park after the permit expires or the operation collapses etc.. Subregulation 13G(1) allows the Authority to order a 'prescribed person' to remove 'prescribed property' (which was brought into the Park pursuant to a permit) from the Park after the permit has expired. A recent permit problem has made it clear that the above definitions are deficient. The amendment broadens the definition of 'prescribed person' to include not only the owner of the property and the former permittee but also the person who 'controls or possesses the property'. In addition the definition of 'Prescribed property' is also broadened to include anything that is brought into the Park pursuant to the permit.

Regulation 12 amends Schedule 1 so that worms (Phylum Annelida) and certain commercial crustacean and molluscs species may now be collected.

Regulation 13 amends Schedule 1B so that worms from the class Polychaeta and certain commercial crustacean and mollusc species can be collected.

Regulation 14 inserts new Schedules 1C and 1D. Schedule 1C lists the species for which the limiting collecting provision of 13AB(2)(b) does not apply. That limit does not apply to those species if they are fished and it would be inappropriate if it applied to them if they Were collected. Schedule 1D is a new table which takes over the function of Schedule 1B for the purposes of defining which species can be fished. The Schedule provides a list of fish, crustacean and mollusc species which cannot be fished (except for the excepted species).

Regulation 15 is the transitional provision relating to implementation of the new Cairns Section Zoning Plan. Subregulation 15.1 provides that permits issued before the new zoning plan comes into effect remain valid after that date. Subregulation 15.2 makes it clear that the first provision does not automatically allow the holder of the permission to carry out an activity in an area where he or she was not permitted to carry out the activity under the previous zoning plan. To carry out an activity in such an area would require an assessment of the environmental impact of the activity on the area.


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