Wednesday, 21 June 2017
Commonwealth Marine Reserves
That the Senate—
(i) that the international community came together to recognise the importance of our oceans at the 2017 United Nations Ocean Conference held from 5 to 9 June 2017 in New York,
(ii) that the oceans are under increasing pressure and other nations have started to establish protected areas – Australia cannot afford to leave our oceans exposed given the impacts of climate change, including the severe coral reef bleaching, unprecedented mangrove dieback and significant loss of kelp forests already seen around Australia, and
(iii) the progress globally by other countries to put in place marine national parks, such as:
(B) the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument – declared by the United States of America (USA) in 2006 and expanded in 2016 to protect 1 508 870 km2 of Hawaiian Islands and atolls in high level IUCN II protection,
(C) the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument – declared by the USA in 2009 and expanded in 2014 to protect 1 270 000 km2 in high level IUCN II protection, and
(D) the Pitcairn Islands Marine Reserve – declared by the United Kingdom in 2015 to protect 834 334km2 around the Pitcairn Islands in the Pacific in high level IUCN II protection,
(iv) the Australian Labor Party's (ALP) 2012 National Network of Commonwealth Marine Reserves – the world's largest network – put Australia at the forefront of ocean conservation globally, with other countries following suit,
(v) the ALP's 2012 National Network of Commonwealth Marine Reserves was based on science and extensive consultation – Labor held more public and stakeholder meetings which were attended by more people, and received more submissions, than the Government's recent review,
(vi) the Government's own review found that extensive science went into the development of the Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network and recognised the scientifically proven benefits of Marine National Park (IUCN 11) zones,
(vii) the Government's own review found that extensive consultation went into the development of the Commonwealth Marine Reserves, stating there was in fact a considerable amount of consultation fatigue' expressed by many stakeholders, and
(viii) that after 15 years of process, regional businesses and industry leaders are seeking certainty with the completion of the National Network of Commonwealth Marine Reserves; and
(b) calls on the Government to honour its domestic and international obligations, and to bring the National Network of Commonwealth Marine Reserves, that was declared in 2012, into operation without further delay, and with no reduction of Marine National Park (IUCN Category 11) zone protection.
The government is committed to the implementation of new management arrangements for Australia's marine reserves. Under the statutory consultation process currently underway, the Director of National Parks will soon publicly release her draft plans for a second time. The government has allocated $56 million to implement new management arrangements. We have conducted in excess of 200 public consultations nationally to ensure that conservation, fishing, tourism research and Indigenous use are fairly treated.
Question agreed to.