House debates

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Bills

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Declared Fishing Activities) Bill 2012; Second Reading

4:20 pm

Photo of Mr Tony BurkeMr Tony Burke (Watson, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities) Share this | Hansard source

I want to thank all members who have contributed to the debate. During the debate, a number of issues have been raised by the opposition and the crossbench. During that time the government has circulated amendments which I believe address each and every one of these issues.

Ultimately we will not be in a situation where we are voting on a bill that simply effects the large changes in fisheries activity which are currently being contemplated. No-one in the next vote can hide behind a recreational fishing argument. No-one in the next vote can hide behind this bill having any impact on social or economic considerations. No-one in the next vote can hide behind this being somehow something that would affect current fishing businesses' fishing activity.

The bill that is before us has had the astonishing aspect in the debate of people being outraged about a marine park that is 400 kilometres away but not caring about the depletion of fish stocks 5½ kilometres offshore. In this vote, the government will remain true to its commitment on our oceans—whether it be protecting the Great Barrier Reef, protecting the oceans or making sure that we have an appropriate precautionary principle that applies to fisheries.

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