Senate debates

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Regulations and Determinations

Marine Parks Network Management Plans; Disallowance

3:44 pm

Photo of Pauline HansonPauline Hanson (Queensland, Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party) Share this | Hansard source

When you listen to that speech, you would think we've destroyed our oceans completely but that is not the case. One Nation will be supporting the government in opposing this disallowance notion. This came into play on 1 July. If we do not support this immediately, straight away from tomorrow, we are going to see all holds off. That means that people can come in and fish, because there's going to be no plan whatsoever.

My understanding is this has been 12 years in the making. It has been 12 years of discussions, talking to businesses, talking to the fishing sector, talking to many organisations and talking to scientists about what is the best way to go with this. Twelve years it has taken, and now it has been implemented. So if it goes out the door today, if everyone votes to get rid of this with the disallowance motion the Greens are putting up, it is going to go back to nothing—no protection, nothing. This is for a 10-year plan, but it can be looked at in five years time. Actually, at any time, a minister can change it and put it back through the review process.

Why throw the baby out with the bathwater? Why not let this stay as it is? There are protections in place now. If you are not happy with it then work on it in the next parliament. There are 120 days of consultation that have to go on. We know that we are facing an election. If you throw this out today, nothing is going to happen for at least a year or more. So we're going to allow these people to come in here and fish our waters and do more damage than we have with these protections we have put in place. We are talking about 2.2 million square kilometres of Australia's marine environment that will have no marine park protection. That is what is going to happen.

I am sick of the scaremongering that goes on in this place. Tell the people the truth. If you are not happy with the marine parks that are there now—there was nothing before it came into place on 1 July. What are you complaining about now? There was nothing in place. You actually have something in place now. Work with it. I support the fact that we now have protection out there. I support the fishermen and businesspeople who need it. We need the tourism here as well. The Greens want to lock up everything. They want to lock up our fishing, they want to look up our national parks, they want to lock up everything. They don't want to do anything in this country. They want to destroy businesses.

There is sustainability, and there is a guarantee that there are no foreign fishing vessels in these waters. There is a guarantee there are no super trawlers in these waters. This is the government's plan. Also, the fact is that the marine park covers 36 per cent of Australia's oceans and is the second largest in the world—and it is three times larger than the UN's benchmark of 10 per cent. How can you argue with that? I hear the Greens go on in this place all the time about the UN and our responsibilities. We have surpassed the UN's requirements. We have 36 per cent. How can you argue with that?

You raised the Pew foundation. I wanted to hear their advice and I rang them up. They said: 'Pauline, you have to support the government on this. It's not everything that we want, but it's better than nothing.' I have come from a small business background—a fish and chip shop. I relied on Australian fish and that is what I sold—not all the rubbish that we get in from overseas that we see so much of in our shops. We Australians have the right to eat that fish and not see it being exported to overseas. This will ensure our sustainability—that we have fish for Australians. It is not going to be overfished. The Fisheries Management Authority looks after that as well.

We are talking about the protection of our oceans, and I fully support the government on this. When I'm back in this place, whoever is in government here, if this is not good enough, if there are a lot of Australians out there who are not happy with this, I will work with them to increase the marine park zones or whatever needs to be done. But don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. If you throw this out today, you'll have nothing—no protection whatsoever.


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