The West Australian government will provide $3.4 million to establish a new marine park in Exmouth Gulf, with a promise to engage with traditional owners in its design.
It will also provide another $2.6 million to establish a task force to examine strategic and development issues in the region.
The funding follows a commitment last year to protect Exmouth Gulf and its surrounds by implementing historic conservation measures.
Environment Minister Reece Whitby said the gulf was critically important to WA's biodiversity.
"It is globally recognised for its environmental and cultural values so a very high level of protection is required," he said.
"As a government, we are committed to investing in strong and vibrant regions and to enhancing the protection of our important natural areas."
Environmental group Save Exmouth Gulf welcomed both initiatives as a strong signal the future of the gulf and its economy must be based on protecting the environment rather than threatening it with industrial development.
"The Exmouth Gulf task force must take full advantage of this important opportunity to provide a clear conservation direction and long-awaited certainty for the gulf, which has been buffeted by one major industrial proposal after another in recent years," director Paul Gamblin said.
"It's time to clear the decks forever of industrial threats and instead, support investment in low impact economic activity like ecotourism, cultural tourism, marine science and education."
Australian Associated Press
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