The NSW Government has committed more than $180 million in new funding until 2028 to continue to fund projects that protect the state’s iconic coast and estuaries and support stronger coastal communities and industries, building on the $105 million committed to date.
Treasurer Matt Kean said the funding for the final six years of the 10-year Marine Estate Management Strategy in the 2022-23 Budget reaffirms the Government’s commitment to investing in the health and resilience of one of NSW’s most significant natural resources.
“The value of the marine estate to the NSW economy is significant, contributing over $15 billion per annum and 2.5 per cent of all employment in NSW,” Mr Kean said.
“A healthy and productive marine estate is critical to the wellbeing and prosperity of NSW, which is why the NSW Government has invested a record amount in the Strategy.
“This timely, long-term record level of investment in the NSW marine estate will build on the progress of the first four years of the Strategy, which have already delivered strong outcomes and received state, national and international acclaim.”
Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said many coastal industries are still overcoming the effects of recent natural disasters and this funding will help coastal businesses to recover, boost their productivity and strengthen regional employment.
“In NSW, 85 per cent of people live within 50km of the coast, so it vital that we are investing in repairing and sustaining this natural resource to protect the business, recreational and cultural opportunities that the NSW community depends on,” Mr Saunders said.
“The Marine Estate Management Strategy will address the main threats to our state’s beautiful coastline through projects such as reef restoration, riverbank stabilisation, researching fertiliser use and ways to reduce sediment runoff from farms and reviewing jetty designs.
“These projects are helping to improve water quality by reducing pollution, ensure our coastal habitats can thrive under the effects of climate change and increase Aboriginal people’s role in protecting cultural values and managing Sea Country.
“Better water quality also plays a crucial role in improving fish habitats and breeding grounds, helping to boost the state’s $3.4 billion strong recreational fishing industry.”
Minister for Environment James Griffin said this investment demonstrates the NSW Government’s commitment to ensuring the NSW marine estate is supported and sustainable for generations to come.
“This significant investment by the NSW Government will ensure that we can continue to protect and conserve our marine system, which is cherished by people right along the coast,” Mr Griffin said.
“A healthy community and economy needs a healthy ocean, and all of us have a role to play as responsible stewards of our oceans.”
For more information about the range of projects and key achievements within the Marine Estate Management Strategy, visit www.marine.nsw.gov.au/strategy-implementation.