Thursday, 20 June 2013
I, and also on behalf of Senator Thorp, move:
That the Senate—
(i) the uncertainty about the environmental impacts of the operation of large mid water trawl freezer vessels in the Small Pelagic Fishery, and
(ii) a temporary ban on this new method of fishing is in place along with funding to perform further scientific research; and
(b) commits to supporting the completion of this scientific research, its funding, and the associated temporary ban.
I seek leave to make a short statement.
One of the biggest environmental campaigns we have seen in the last few years in this country has been on the back of a supertrawler coming to this country to employ industrial-scale fishing in the small pelagic fishery. We managed to get a temporary ban put in place on supertrawlers entering our waters, subject to some scientific research and studies which are now underway. Approximately $1 million has gone into looking at the uncertainties evident in this fishery, which will certainly guide us on future fisheries management in this country. I note that, with four to five days left of parliament and the possibility—some say 'likelihood'—of a change of government, a new federal environment minister can remove this ban. I would like to make it very clear that the recreational fishers, the scientists, the people who supported this ban being put in place—and many of them have recently spoken on the Catalyst program—would like to see the opposition today make a clear statement of their support for maintaining the science— (Time expired)
Question agreed to.
Senator Whish-Wilson talked about the campaign that was run. I would have to say that it was one of the most dishonest campaigns that I have seen run by the Greens for a long time. The opposition does dispute the uncertainty surrounding this issue. If the minister had taken the time to inform himself, he may very well have been more certain. If you do not inform yourself, you certainly will be uncertain. The motion talks about the science. We know that the Greens are actually anti science, and that is supported by statements such as 'I don't care about the science; I just don't want the boat.' I note that the quota—
The senator seems to be adopting the Howard Sattler defence now. I note that the quota for that fishery has just been reset at very similar levels to what was set previously. So there stands the coalition's position.