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  • On this page:
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park specific legislation
  • Other Commonwealth legislation
  • Queensland legislation
  • International conventions
  • About the Regulations
  • Changes from the 1983 Regulations

 

Legislation specific to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park:

  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 is the primary Act and includes provisions which:
  • establish the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
  • establish the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), a Commonwealth authority responsible for the management of the Marine Park
  • provide a framework for planning and management of the Marine Park, including through zoning plans, plans of management and a system of permissions
  • prohibit mining operations (which includes prospecting or exploration for, as well as recovery of, minerals) in the Great Barrier Reef Region (unless authorised to carry out the operations by permission granted under the Regulations, for the purpose of research or investigations relevant to the conservation of the Marine Park)
  • require compulsory pilotage for certain ships in prescribed areas of the Great Barrier Reef Region
  • provide an investigation regime under the Act and the EPBC Act, including the appointment of inspectors and powers of investigation for those inspectors
  • provide enforcement mechanisms including criminal enforcement action, civil penalties, administrative action, infringement notices and emergency powers.
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (Environmental Management Charge-Excise) Act 1993
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (Environmental Management Charge-General) Act 1999

 

  • Two Acts relate to the environmental management charge:
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 2019
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan 2003 is the primary planning instrument for conserving and managing the Marine Park. In having regard to the objects set out in subsection 32(1) of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975, this Zoning Plan takes account of the world heritage values of the Marine Park and the principles of ecologically sustainable use. The Zoning Plan aims, along with other management mechanisms, to conserve the biodiversity of the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem within a network of highly protected zones, and provide opportunities for the ecologically sustainable use of the Reef and access to the Great Barrier Reef Region by current and future generations.

Other Commonwealth legislation

About the Regulations

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 2019 reflect modern drafting standards and will reduce complexity and improve clarity of the policy intent for the reader. They will have a different look and feel, but do not make any substantive change to rules applying in the Marine Park.

The Regulations will also repeal the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (Aquaculture) Regulations 2000, as there are currently adequate provisions in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 for any proposed new aquaculture facilities that have the potential to impact the Marine Park.

It is necessary to repeal and replace the old Regulations, and repeal the Aquaculture Regulations, to address the sunsetting regime established under the Legislation Act 2003. Under that regime the old Regulations will automatically ‘sunset’ or cease to have effect on 1 April 2019, and the Aquaculture Regulations will sunset on 1 October 2019, unless legislative action is taken.

Sunsetting is an important mechanism to enable the Australian Government to implement policies to reduce red tape, deliver clearer laws and align existing legislation with current government policy.

Queensland legislation

Legislation enacted by the State of Queensland which is relevant to the Great Barrier Reef includes:

Further information is available from the Queensland Government, in particular the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

International conventions

A number of international conventions are relevant to the Great Barrier Reef, including:

In addition, Great Barrier Reef was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1981, pursuant to the World Heritage Convention. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was the first ‘Particularly Sensitive Sea Area’ designated by the International Maritime Organisation.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 2019 came into effect on 1 April 2019 — but will not result in any substantive change to the rules that apply in the Marine Park.

These Regulations repeal and replace the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983.

Changes from the 1983 Regulations

The format and structure of the new Regulations are different:

  • sections have been renumbered in sequence — a renumbering table has been prepared to assist readers to locate the new equivalent of an old provision.
  • the names of some parts, divisions and sections have changed to better reflect their subject matter
  • outlines of each part have been included at the start of each part to enable readers to quickly gain an understanding of the content
  • most sections have been reworded to reflect the modern drafting style
  • other wording changes have been made to reduce complexity and improve clarity with the effect that most sections remain unchanged
  • minor changes have been made to some sections (for example, where there were obvious errors or omissions in the old section)
  • most definitions now appear at the start of the Regulations, in section 5, so that, where possible, an expression only has one meaning throughout the Regulations
  • out-of-date content (for example, references to other pieces of legislation which are no longer in force have been updated to refer to the latest equivalent legislation) has been updated
  • content, such as long lists of species and descriptions of Special Management Areas, have been moved into schedules at the end of the Regulations to improve readability
  • a mechanism, to update some of the lists that appear in schedules without the need for new Regulations, has also been included to keep lists up-to-date.

More information

For general enquiries relating to changes to the Regulations please contact us on (07) 4750 0700 or email info@gbrmpa.gov.au.

Created Mon, 2022-08-22 22:34
Updated 24 Aug 2022
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