Re: *Ramsar areas*

Subject: Re: *Ramsar areas*
Date: Fri, 4 Jul 2003 08:16:09 +1000
John Gamblin raised the issue of who 'polices' (manages) Ramsar areas.

I have asked a colleague who works on Ramsar, water and waterbird habitat
issues for Victoria and she has offered the following information.

'Parks Victoria (PV) manages a lot of the land (parks and conservation
reserves) in Ramsar sites and on that land they would be responsible for
enforcement.   If it is occurring on land in Ramsar sites not managed by PV
then it would be a wildlife issue - Department of Sustainability &
Environment (previously NRE).  However,  PV does manage recreational
boating in Western Port.   Section 58 of the Wildlife Act says you can't
disturb wildlife wilfully.   There is no facility to keep vessels away from
significant wildlife habitat.   I've had advice from Coasts Section that
the Marine Act can only deal with issues of human safety.'

John, it sounds like one should approach Parks Victoria in the first
instance.  As a visitor to French Island, I've recorded first hand a
hovercraft coming across from the mainland (Hastings??) and running right
up through the muddy areas at low tide, between Black Swans and the high
tide mark.  When this sort of thing happen it is important to record: time
of day, date, any description of the vessel (reg no.s?) and the activity
being observed as well as an accurate description of where it was observed.
Witnesses also help of course.

The PV office at Rosebud is where the rangers can be contacted.  The call
centre no. to contact them is 13 1963 I think.

To try and prevent this sort of thing happening we need to keep records of
who/when/where is disturbing birds and habitat.


Martin O'Brien

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