(May - August 2002)
During a rezoning process, all components of the Zoning Plan are open for comment and alteration. As the Zoning Plans in place at this time were progressively developed over 17 years, some of the terms, management provisions and zone names differed between areas of the Marine Park. It was proposed the Draft Zoning Plan would comprise a single Zoning Plan for the entire Marine Park, including the new coastal sections. This would allow consistent names and provisions to be applied.
A public notice to prepare a Draft Zoning Plan was issued on 7 May 2002 with public input invited until 7 August 2002.
The first formal community participation phase was extremely resource-intensive, and involved a variety of techniques to ensure all coastal communities were aware of the Representative Areas Program and encouraged to get involved. An important part of this phase was a program to ensure the public understood the numerous pressures on the Great Barrier Reef and why a new Zoning Plan was needed. This stage of community participation included providing blank maps of defined areas in the Marine Park linked to a questionnaire. People were asked to mark areas that were of interest to them and to record corresponding information on the questionnaire. These areas could either be places people used for fishing or other activities, or sites of special and unique value. The map-questionnaire also prompted people to provide general comments about Marine Park management issues. The map-questionnaires were completed either by individuals or by people working as a group.
As a result, 10 190 written submissions were received with over 95 per cent using the map-questionnaires provided by Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). This was the largest number of submissions ever received by the GBRMPA for a zoning or management planning exercise (the previous record was 1009 submissions received during the Cairns Section Zoning Plan review in 1992). The record level of publicity about the rezoning program and the large number of written submissions required the GBRMPA to implement a number of new ways to handle the huge amount of information. This included developing a new submissions database.
- Do no-take areas work? (Technical Information Sheet #3, 2002)
- The benefits of no-take areas (Technical Information Sheet #4, 2002)
- Correcting misinformation, misunderstandings and providing the facts (Flyer, 2002)
- Representative Areas - Submission Brochure (Brochure 2006)
- Our Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is Under Pressure (2002)
- Barriers to communication - how these critical aspects were addressed during the public participation for the rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (Paper, 2005)
Technical Information Sheets
- Representative Areas Program Bioregions of the World Heritage Area (Brochure, 2006)
- Representative Areas - Detailed Map Submission (Brochure 2002)
- Representative Areas Program Updates (2000 - 2003).