MEDIA RELEASE: Making history for the wrong reasons

The Government has released its plans to wind back protections in our oceans and it’s even worse than we feared. The draft marine management plans make Australia the only country in the world that is winding back its protections for the ocean.

 In 2012 Labor released the world’s largest network of marine national parks and protected areas. The network was based on the latest science and extensive community consultation. 

When Tony Abbott got into power he put these plans on hold, and now Malcolm Turnbull’s Government has directly attacked them. 

 The Coral Sea was the jewel in the crown of Labor’s network. Yesterday’s proposed scheme for the Coral Sea halves the area placed in Marine National Parks. Precious reefs such as Marion Reef lose protections and even Osprey Reef, one of the top dive sites in the world has had protections stripped away. Shark and Vema Reefs have been taken out of the Marine National Park area altogether.

 Midwater trawling is to be reintroduced and it will be now be possible for longlining to start at the southern tip of the Coral Sea reserve and continue all the way to the northern boundary.

No government anywhere in the world has ever removed this many hectares out of conservation before. The Turnbull government seems determined to make history for all the wrong reasons. 

Labor will not stand by and see our precious oceans be attacked. Labor will fight to prevent any backward steps on ocean protection.



Tony Burke