As an integral part of our habitat protection strategy, HSI has nominated Australia' s most outstanding examples of natural, historical, cultural and indigenous significance for protection as National Heritage under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
HSI was successful in obtaining National Heritage listing for Ningaloo Reef along Western Australia's mid-west coast, covering an area of 708,000 hectares (1.7 million acres).
In 2006, a nomination by HSI resulted in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and the associated Lion Island, Long Island and Spectacle Island Nature Reserves being included on the National Heritage List.
A number of additional HSI nominations have been prioritised for assessment for inclusion on the National Heritage List, including the Fitzgerald River-Ravensthorpe Range, The Beekeepers-Mount Lesueur-Coomallo area, and Ningaloo Reef and the adjoining Cape Range and Exmouth Gulf.
Two additional HSI nominations within the pristine wilderness of the Kimberley region in northern Western Australia, the Prince Regent River Nature Reserve and the Drysdale River National Park, will be assessed as part of the federal government' s broader strategic assessment of the Kimberley area.
Unfortunately, amendments to the EPBC Act in 2006 now mean that any nominated place that fails to be prioritised for assessment by the Environment Minister for two consecutive years must be resubmitted if it is to continue being considered. HSI has a number of nominations that fall into this category, including the Australian Antarctic Territory, Barrow Island, the Paroo River, the Great Western Woodlands, Cape York Peninsula, Lake Eyre and Brisbane Water National Park. HSI maintains that each of these locations is an outstanding example of Australia's national heritage and should be rightfully protected as such.
We have therefore resubmitted these nominations for future inclusion on the National Heritage List.
In addition to pursuing this active nomination program, HSI has been asking the federal government to: undertake an immediate assessment of wild and unregulated rivers to identify those for future prioritisation as National Heritage; transfer all Commonwealth marine reserves that are not already listed to the Commonwealth Heritage List; and prioritise the assessment of natural areas on the Register of National Estate that can be speedily transferred to the Commonwealth Heritage List.