Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Declared Commercial Fishing Activities) Bill 2012; Second Reading
Minister Burke, if that is the correct title, is saying, 'If you don't know everything, do nothing.' Minister Burke was not trying, in my opinion, to find a way to make this venture work. He had been looking, I think, for some time—desperately looking, in fact—for some way to lock up more water to prevent fishing to please the Greens. In so doing, Minister Burke has trashed the reputation of the AFMA Commission, and it should be remembered that he appointed every member of that commission. He has also trashed the reputation of our world-leading scientific community and institutions who had done the science on fishing and who did feel that this boat could have been approved for the purposes for which approval was sought.
This government has demonstrated that, if you do everything asked of you by the Greens and then some extra, it will not be enough. They will cause you a great deal of pain and ensure that your business and employees have difficulty in carrying on their activities. How, one must ask, can a business operate in an environment such as that which now seems to prevail in Australia, where this government is very much acting at the behest of their partners in government, the Greens party? The government now operates on the basis that if a minister is uncertain then nothing should happen. Worse still, this minister did not take steps to find the answers to the things he was uncertain about. He just took the Greens' advice and shut the business down. So yet again, driven by the Greens, this government has taken a rushed decision which has undermined the sovereign risk status of Australia and put Australia's reputation as a destination for safe investment under a cloud of doubt.