Thursday, 16 August 2018
Regulations and Determinations
Marine Parks Network Management Plans; Disallowance
I believe that something is better than nothing. These new protections for five marine parks are a step in the right direction, even though they are not ideal. The potential consequences of going back to zero protections are considerable. There would unavoidably be zero protection for a significant period, possibly years, before new legislation is passed. It seems to me at this time that there is no guarantee or sufficiently strong reason to suggest that any future parliament would pass better quality plans. It is possible that a future parliament could pass worse plans, especially given the possible future composition of the Senate.
There are many opportunities to campaign and advocate for improved quality of the marine parks, even if the disallowances fail. Those opportunities seem to have strong potential to be successful over time through strong leadership. I've consulted widely, including with Andrew Forrest, a great advocate for the conservation of our marine environment. With an election not far away, it is time for the major parties to acknowledge that the current protections are not good enough and to pledge that they will improve the protections for the Coral Sea Marine Park. I am determined to use my time in the Senate to campaign for improvements in the quality of our marine parks.
The choice for the Senate is to have some protection or to have zero protection at this point in time. There are strong risks that these disallowances could lead to worse outcomes for our marine environment; therefore, it seems that there is more reason to vote against these disallowances and campaign for improvements to the current protections.