Tuesday, 21 August 2018
Statements by Members
Marine Protected Areas
While the government tears itself apart, let's not forget the damage they're doing all around them. Last week they landed their awful, moth-eaten version of the national marine park plan. After five years of delay, this lot has acted to remove 50 per cent of the marine protected areas from Labor's network—that's 40 million hectares. It is the largest backwards step in ocean protection that's ever been taken by any government, any time anywhere.
It means protections are removed for the Coral Sea, for the Diamantina Fracture Zone and for the Perth Canyon. It does away with marine protection in far offshore zones that can now only be fished by supertrawlers. Labor's national network of marine protection areas was formed on the basis of the science, and it involved painstaking consultation with stakeholders and the wider Australian community. It was supported by 97 per cent of recreational fishers. When the Department of the Environment sought submissions on the government's plan to wreck Labor's marine network, they received 82,000 submissions calling for it to be left alone.
The national network of marine protected areas that Labor created in partnership with the Australian community established a world-leading framework to ensure our oceans continue to be the life-blood of this planet. That network is critical to maintaining the incredible biodiversity of our oceans and it is critical to the health of our fisheries. That is why Labor is committed to reintroducing that network in full. The only way to make that happen, though, is to change this moth-eaten government.