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18    Environment— Marine reserves

Senator Singh, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 368—That the Senate—

               (a)       notes:

                                     (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:

                                                       (A)       the Ross Sea Protected Area - declared by 24 nations of the world, including Australia, in 2016 to protect 1,549,000 km 2 of the Antarctic high seas in high level IUCN II protection,

                                                        (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 km 2 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 km 2 in high level IUCN II protection, and

                                                       (D)       the Pitcairn Islands Marine Reserve - declared by the United Kingdom in 2015 to protect 834,334 km 2 around the Pitcairn Islands in the Pacific in high level IUCN II protection,

                                  (iv)       that 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)       that 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)       that 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 II) zones,

                                (vii)       that 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 II) zone protection.

Statement by leave : The Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister (Senator McGrath), by leave, made a statement relating to the motion.

Question put and passed.