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Monday, 25 October 2010
Page: 684

Senator LUDWIG (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) (8:18 PM) —I thank Senator Joyce for his contribution to the debate on the Protection of the Sea Legislation Amendment Bill 2010. This bill was originally introduced into the House of Representatives on 3 February 2010 but it lapsed when parliament was prorogued for the general election. It is being reintroduced in essentially the same terms as the lapsed bill, except for minor amendments.

Nearly 4,000 ships carry commodities to and from Australian shores each year, involving 99 per cent of our imports and exports by volume. It is inevitable that, with such a large amount of shipping, there will be issues surrounding pollution of the ocean and the atmosphere. We as a government are committed to preventing and reducing marine pollution where possible and this will provide a strengthened legislative framework and ensure that the most important of these conventions—the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships, generally referred to as MARPOL—will be adopted. This is pollution by oil and other noxious liquid substances. About 150 countries have adopted at least some of the annexes that I referred to earlier. I commend this very important bill to the Senate.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.