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Tuesday, 4 June 2013
Page: 5147


Mr JOHN COBB (Calare) (20:01): In summing up the debate, there is one thing that is repeated time after time whether it is by members of the coalition, Independents or whoever it might be. The actual consultation with the industry, be it the fishing industry commercially or be it the recreational fishermen, being given 30 days to look at this was simply not sufficient. The minister is very strongly saying that what he has done—these six management plans—really are not going to have much effect at all. They are not such a big deal. If that is true, why are both the commercial fishermen and the recreational fishermen so totally opposed to these six management plans?

Quite apart from the consultation and the science—and, yes, the minister is quite right, I did turn over three blank pages—there was nothing about science on them and there is nothing about science in this. The minister's own staff confessed that they did not have very much knowledge, and one of his people who was in charge—and I think it was the Coral area from memory—actually said that he did not have the money within his department to do it, and they did not do it. So how can he stand there and keep reiterating that we have done the science and that it is not such a big deal? I keep repeating that if it is not such a big deal why are those whose livelihoods and those whose enjoyment depend upon these areas so totally opposed to what he wants to do?

The three fundamental steps that must be taken in order for an area to be adequately and appropriately protected have not been systematically applied to the declaration of Australia's marine protected areas. Firstly, and I will repeat them again: all significant threats must be identified—article 7 of the Convention on Biological Diversity; second, the process that constitutes these threats must be addressed—EPBC Act, Commonwealth of Australia, 1999; and, third, the management action that is taken must not be disproportionate to the significance of the environmental problems—Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environment, Governments of Australia 1992. These are almost entirely Australian, Australia's own laws, Australia's own requirements and, as our American professor said, they must be done.

As I said earlier, while the minister does not seem to want to go there, his own department admitted that marine parks had to go somewhere, and there is no science behind the proposed lock-up. I will conclude here, but I will conclude by repeating once again: if this is so minor, if it is going to have so little effect on commercial and recreational fishermen, why are they so totally opposed to it?

The SPEAKER: The question is that the Coral Sea Commonwealth Maritime Reserve Network Management Plan 2014-24 be disallowed.