On the South Coast of NSW, healthy marine life supports $300m dollar tourism industry, and local jobs depend on nature-based experiences. Our oceans are a drawcard – but they’re also our home, a place we’re proud of living, and a place we want our kids to enjoy.
Marine sanctuaries are an investment in our home, and an insurance policy against the threats to ocean health. We call upon the government of New South Wales to restore the Batemans Marine Sanctuaries, to protect our marine life and by extension support the lifestyles and livelihoods of our community who rely on thriving coasts.
Local businesses are calling for the government to reinstate full protection of our sanctuaries. Add your business to the business statement below.
NB: please only add your business if you are authorised to do so. If you are a staff member and would like to encourage your owner/manager to sign, why not share this page with them?
Business Statement in Support of Batemans Marine Sanctuaries
The South Coast of NSW is a stunning and special place.
Those of us who make our home here, and those who visit, appreciate its unique beauty, our diverse and remarkable marine life, and our beautiful coasts which are protected by the Batemans Marine Park which is part of the region’s identity and economic ‘infrastructure’.
A tourism magnet, the South Coast of NSW attracts visitors from Sydney, Canberra and far afield who come to surf, snorkel, dive and fish. In 2018/2019, tourism and hospitality sales in the local shire were worth $300m. Healthy marine life is essential to these and all local jobs and economy, to our region’s reputation, and to our enviable South Coast lifestyle.
At the heart of the marine park are its sanctuary zones which, according to scientists, are essential for maintaining the health of the coast’s marine life. Sanctuaries zones within marine parks are like national parks for protecting marine wildlife and habitats from the pressures of human encroachment. Importantly, sanctuaries also provide unique nature-based experiences rarely found outside of highly protected areas. They cater for divers, snorkelers and experience seekers attracted to increasingly sought-after pristine underwater environments.
The NSW Government has announced that it will no longer prosecute illegal activities such as harvesting or fishing in some Batemans marine sanctuaries, and that they intend to change legislation to permanently allow these activities in protected marine sanctuary zones.
Neither scientists, the general community nor our local business community were consulted before these actions, and we hold significant concerns regarding the outcome for our marine and coastal values, and the flow-on effects these will have on our regional economy.
Our communities have been placed under enormous pressure in the face of bushfires and COVID. The government’s decision and stated intentions regarding the Batemans marine sanctuaries undermines the natural assets that contribute to our region’s economic advantage, and further places the sustainability of our businesses – which contribute significantly to local employment prosperity – at risk.
We the undersigned regional businesses support our existing marine park and sanctuary zones and encourage the government to support their management to protect marine life.
Consequently we the undersigned regional businesses call on the New South Wales government to act decisively to protect Batemans marine sanctuaries, thereby securing our reputation as a great holiday destination, a healthy coastal economy, and a great place to live and work.