MARINE PARK WATER QUALITY MONITORING
The Hon. JOHN ROBERTSON:
On 27 October Mr Ian Cohen asked me a question about water quality in marine parks, to which I now provide a more detailed response. I am advised that in New South Wales 67 estuaries drain into coastal waters in New South Wales, which form part of our marine parks. Under the current program 27 estuaries have been or are in the process of being accessed to monitor the health of New South Wales estuaries. The program takes into account the delivery of nutrients, some of which originate from agricultural fertiliser, which may stimulate excessive algal growth.
I am advised that, in general, the estuaries in marine parks in New South Wales have been assessed to be in good condition. If an estuary is healthy it is assumed the material that passes through it is unlikely to be of concern to the ecosystems of coastal waters. Marine ecosystem health is reported on regularly through the State of the Environment report. Questions as to the overall health of fish stocks in New South Wales should be referred to my colleague the Minister for Primary Industries, the Hon. Tony Kelly, who has responsibility for fisheries management.