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Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Page: 7

Senator SIEWERT (1:23 PM) —The ‘tourism industry’ is a very broad definition. Are hotel operators, resort owners and developers tourism operators? I think I heard Senator Macdonald imply that they were tourism operators, so the term ‘tourism industry’ is very wide. I would be reluctant, for example, for a developer to class themselves as part of the tourism industry because they are building a hotel. Are charter boat operators part of the ‘tourism industry’? As we know, some of those people have actually been convicted—I am not going to stray into an argument about the offences—under this legislation.

Senator Boswell —No, they have not.

Senator SIEWERT —Yes, they have been; commercial operators have been. If they are charter boat operators, are those commercial operators, whether they be tourism operators or fishers, classed as being part of the ‘tourism industry’? This definition is very broad. I am very reluctant to support the amendment when it has such a broad definition because I do not think it is appropriate that developers, who potentially are going to exploit the Barrier Reef, be on the authority. That is one of a number of reasons that we have some concerns about the amendment. Even with the amendment that removes ‘any other industry’, we will not be supporting it because it is too broad and we are concerned about the protection of this very important ecosystem which is facing a number of threats. We do not believe that it is appropriate to have the tourism industry represented on the board. We do believe it is important that they are consulted and we believe that if process is followed they will be consulted appropriately in the management of the reef.