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Thursday, 16 August 2012
Page: 5524

Senator KROGER (VictoriaChief Opposition Whip in the Senate) (11:55): At the request of Senators Boyce, Colbeck, Macdonald and Boswell, I move:

That the Senate—

   (a)   notes that:

      (i)   the Gillard Government proposes to seriously damage Australia's fishing industry and harm Australia's tourism industry by establishing the world's largest marine reserve without any scientific foundation,

      (ii)   the Gillard Government proposes to make the Coral Sea a no-go zone to Australians, but other countries, whose fishing practices are not as sustainable as Australia's, will still be able to fish in the Coral Sea,

      (iii)   Australians will be deprived of a vital food source from the Coral Sea, which covers more than 989 842 square kilometres, more than half the size of Queensland,

      (iv)   almost 78 per cent of east coast Queensland waters will be in marine parks, almost 8 times the international benchmark,

      (v)   Australia's oceans are amongst the healthiest and best managed in the world due in large part to the sustainable practices of our fishers,

      (vi)   scientists have agreed that fishing is not putting the Coral Sea at risk and that Green groups have also acknowledged this, and

      (vii)   the proposed network has nothing to do with science but everything to do with appeasing the Australian Greens politically, who keep the Labor Government in power; and

   (b)   calls on the Australian Government to:

      (i)   halt the current process of expanding marine parks to ensure that any future marine parks are based on objective scientific research and stakeholder input, and

      (ii)   undertake a risk assessment of the threats to Australia's marine environment from existing and future uses to assess the need for the proposed marine parks.