Monday, 2 May 2016
(a) recognises that Australia has some of the world's greatest marine natural environments, with rich biodiversity and unique species;
(b) notes that:
(ii) the Government has undermined Australia's world-leading system of marine parks with the suspension of management plans for these marine parks; and
(c) calls on the Government to:
(i) make the marine parks operational without further delay, and
(ii) commit adequate funding for management, buyout and education.
The coalition government is committed to a system of marine reserves based on sound science and genuine consultation with communities and businesses. The Labor-Greens previous government bungled the creation of new marine reserves in 2012. They trampled over sustainable maritime communities to achieve a political outcome. They rushed consultation and shut marine communities out of the process. We will strike a sensible balance which protects the environment, supports a sustainable fishing industry, attracts tourism and provides cultural, recreational and economic benefits for coastal communities. The government has already undertaken genuine consultation with local communities, including more than 260 regional public meetings all over the country between February and August last year and received over 13,000 written submissions. The government is considering the findings and recommendations from the review and we will release the review reports soon.
I would suggest that the minister has just misled the chamber with his very inflammatory comment: 'trampled over communities'. There was an extensive consultation process. The fact is that the coalition just do not like the fact that the world-leading marine reserve system was put in place in this country, and they got a bit of feedback, so they decided that they would trash the management plans, which effectively trash the marine protected areas around this country. There was no trampling over communities. These marine parks have very high levels of supports. The fact is that, while they are still reviewing the process, our reefs are bleaching. One of the best ways we can help those reefs recover is to get the marine parks back in place and take the pressure off them so that we can stop the impact as much as possible. The fact is that some of the reefs may actually die. Sometimes they recover and sometimes they do not. This will help them recover. (Time expired)
Question agreed to.