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Coalition’s dugong and turtle protection plan.



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Media Release

Authorised and printed by Brian Loughnane for the Liberal Party of Australia Cnr Blackall and Macquarie Sts BARTON ACT 2600

The Hon Greg Hunt MP

Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage Warren Entsch LNP Candidate for Leichhardt

Friday August 13 2010

COALITION’S DUGONG AND TURTLE PROTECTION PLAN

The Coalition will move quickly and constructively to implement a Dugong and Turtle Protection Plan.

The Plan will work to protect the dugong and turtle populations of Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait Islands from the threats of poaching, illegal hunting and marine debris.

These magnificent animals are under stress from practices which threaten the relationship between them and the traditional communities that have been their natural conservators.

As part of this important environmental and marine conservation task, the Coalition will maintain existing funding and will additionally provide a total of $2.6 million for dugong and turtle protection, comprising:

$1.6 million for specialised Indigenous Ranger Programs for marine conservation along the Far North Queensland Coast and for strengthened enforcement and compliance through supporting additional officers on the water and on land to crack down on dugong and turtle poaching and the illegal trade in dugong and turtle meat.

$1 million towards helping to clean up marine debris along the Far North Queensland Coast, the Torres Strait Islands and in the Coral Sea. Marine debris - especially ‘ghost nets’ - provide significant risks to dugongs and turtles and we will take steps to clean these threats up. We will consult, support and work with indigenous communities in dealing with these threats.

These positive measures would build on the Coalition’s 3-point plan for the protection of dugongs and turtles through which we have already committed to:

Work with Traditional Owners and help them to put an end to poaching and the commercial sale of illegally-caught dugong and turtle meat.

Media Release

Authorised and printed by Brian Loughnane for the Liberal Party of Australia Cnr Blackall and Macquarie Sts BARTON ACT 2600

Create local jobs for local Indigenous people to preserve and protect dugongs and turtles. Ensure enforcement and prosecution for the illegal hunting and poaching of turtles and dugongs.

The Coalition’s $2.6 million Dugong and Turtle Protection Plan would initially run for two years and be subject to extension based upon its success. These measures would be designed in conjunction with traditional owners and indigenous communities.

The Program would be administered in consultation with Indigenous communities and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Media contact: John Deller on 0400 496 596