Plans Revealed For Sydney Marine Park To Protect City's City’s 'Big Blue Backyard'

If you’re someone who enjoys wetting a line in-and-around Sydney, then you could be about to hit a snag.

The NSW Government has released plans for a landmark Sydney Marine Park that stretches from Newcastle to Wollonong.

It will see a raft environmental protections introduced at 25 locations, meaning more rules about what you can and can’t do.

In bad news for anglers, fishing with a rod and line will be banned at most of the sites. Spear fishing will also be more tightly regulated.

Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair claims the proposal gets “the balance right” and is based on science.

“We’ve used a risk assessment to identify these sites and what activities can be allowed on these sites,” Minister Blair said.

Four of the locations, Nielsen Park, Camp Cove, Chowder Bay and North Harbour are within Sydney Harbour and line fishing will be illegal at each of them.

It was news that caught mates Brendon and Wes by surprise, as they prepared to cast a line on the rocks at Camp Cove.

“It’s a little bit disappointing,” Wes Iles told Ten Eyewitness News.

“I mean look at the place. It’s so beautiful and to think that you can’t enjoy it and go out and catch a feed, it’s a bit harsh.”

But the plan isn’t set in stone and anglers like Wes can have their say during six weeks of community consultation.

According to the Labor Opposition , consultation should’ve been done years ago.

Camp Cove, Sydney Harbour National Park. Image: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

"The Government has been talking about a Sydney Marine Park since 2014 yet today’s announcement is just an announcement to talk more and deliver less when it comes to single iconic marine park for Sydney,” Shadow Environment Minister Penny Sharpe said.

But at least it’s a start -- that’s the perspective of Sydney Marine Park Campaigner Sharnie Connell. She’s been working for years to secure stronger protections for the city’s “big blue backyard."

“It’s excellent to see the Government today is taking steps to fill that gap in our marine protection network,” she said.

“We just need to go back and have a look at the detail.”

The first public consultation meeting is at Bronte on Saturday 25.

The full schedule is available here.