Threat and risk assessment

Our vision for the NSW marine estate is to have a healthy coast and sea, managed for the greatest well-being of the community, now and into the future. To achieve this vision a Marine Estate Management Strategy to outline the NSW Government’s management directions for the marine estate over the next ten years is being developed.

An evidence-based threat and risk assessment for the NSW marine estate (statewide TARA) is a key step towards achieving this vision and the Strategy and is a requirement of the Marine Estate Management Act 2014. The statewide TARA will enable us to focus management on the most important threats and associated risks in NSW to maximise the environmental, social and economic benefits we all derive from the marine estate.

Have your say

The Marine Estate Management Authority has released the NSW Marine Estate Threat and Risk Assessment Draft Report (draft statewide TARA report) and we are seeking your feedback.

We would like you to consider the evidence used to determine the risk levels and provide any evidence you may have that can better inform the draft statewide TARA. Evidence includes scientific research or reports, supporting background reports or unpublished data or research.

We have developed an interactive tool to help you to navigate interrogate and provide feedback to inform the findings of the draft statewide TARA. We have also developed a variety of reports and supporting material, including a series of fact sheets, FAQs and  three videos, that may help you to further understand the draft statewide TARA or to use the interactive tool. Targeted workshops with key stakeholders were held in February and a copy of the workshop presentation is also available.

The feedback you provide will inform the final statewide TARA which is a key input to the Marine Estate Management Strategy and the new marine park management plans (starting with Solitary Islands and Batemans Marine Park).

Submissions through the TARA interactive tool can be made until 30 April 2017.

The draft statewide TARA

The draft statewide TARA has been undertaken in accordance with the Threat and Risk Assessment Framework for the NSW Marine Estate and international risk assessment standards (AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009) and is evidence-based.

The draft statewide TARA identifies and assesses threats and risks to:

  • environmental assets - the natural attributes, components and living resources of the marine estate such as fish stocks, saltmarsh and subtidal reefs individually in ‘estuaries’ and ‘coastal and marine’ areas.
  • social and economic benefits (community benefits) - the NSW community derives from the NSW marine estate, such as going to the beach, running a scuba diving business or the peace of mind from knowing we have healthy marine life. This also includes Aboriginal cultural heritage and use benefits.

The draft statewide TARA assessed threats and their associated risks at a state and regional scale. The regions include (see map):

  • North region (from Tweed Heads to Stockton)
  • Central region (from Stockton to Shellharbour, includes the Hawkesbury Shelf marine bioregion)
  • South region (from Shellharbour to NSW/Vic border).

We have considered your feedback from previous engagement

In February to May 2016 we sought your feedback on the Hawkesbury Shelf marine bioregion threat and risk assessment and eight suggested management initiatives.  Your feedback has informed a review of several threats and associated risk levels for the Central region and improvements to the TARA process generally. It has also informed the development of the interactive tool to help improve our approach to community engagement on the draft statewide TARA.


(Note: Some of these documents contain complex images, tables or graphs. To obtain an accessible version of the content email

Supporting material

Page last updated/reviewed: 19 Apr 2017