The National Parks Association of NSW is calling on the NSW Baird Government to create a Marine Park for Sydney.

Our Premier, Mike Baird, has a unique opportunity to make this announcement at the World Parks Congress in four weeks' time. This one-in-ten-year event is being hosted in Sydney, with over 5,000 Conservationists and managers from around the world coming to the congress to talk about managing marine and terrestrial parks into the future.

"Although to date, the track record of the NSW Government's marine protection record is not good, there is hope that Premier Baird will want NSW to be seen as a progressive state with the vision to declare a Marine Park with sanctuaries on the doorstep of one of the largest and most cosmopolitan cities in the world." Said Kevin Evans, CEO of the National Parks Association of NSW.

"Sydney's waters have immense socio-economic value; they are central to our coastal lifestyle and valued by a wide range of stakeholders including swimmers, walkers, beachgoers, fishers, boaters, divers and snorkelers. This decision will ensure a healthy future for our marine environment that enables all these activities to continue long into the future". Mr Evans said.

"In the lead up to the World Parks Congress, the National Parks Association of NSW is inviting Sydney residents to join us at a Marine Forum in the Bondi Pavilion on Sunday 9 November, where we will hear from distinguished speakers such as Dr Rick Stuart Smith, who, with his colleague Graeme Edgar, just received the Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Marine Research. We are indeed fortunate to have such an internationally renowned scientist addressing our conference, said Kevin Evans."

"Both major political parties in NSW have confirmed that improvements in marine protection to Sydney's waters will be science-based, so hearing from the scientific community about designing better protections for our marine waters will help local people understand the challenges and opportunities. NSW Labor has already promised, that if elected, it will establish a marine park between Pittwater and Port Hacking, and the time is right for the NSW Coalition to announce a similar commitment at the World Parks Congress just a few days after our Marine Forum." Mr Evans said.

Readers can find out more about the Marine Forum, the program and speakers' profiles by visiting http://tinyurl.com/o3qkgr6 or the conference registration page on www.sydneymarinepark.org.au

Enquiries: Kevin Evans, CEO National Parks Association of NSW Inc. 9299 0000 or 045 7797 977
Gary Schoer Marine Forum Facilitator, National Parks Association of NSW 0409 666 163

Read more about NPA's Sydney Marine Park proposal at www.sydneymarinepark.org.au