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Greens call for Labor to give environment groups and Senate time to properly consider impact of disallowance of marine reserve plans



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Media Release // Senator Peter Whish-Wilson

Greens call for Labor to give environment groups and Senate time to properly consider impact of disallowance of marine reserve plans

Greens spokesperson for Healthy Oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, provides the following comments on the Marine Reserve Plans of Management and Labor’s rush to consider a disallowance.

“What the Liberals have before the Senate is woefully inadequate and doesn’t deserve the name of a marine reserve. But the dilemma facing the environment movement, and communities who have campaigned for decades to get marine protections in place, is whether a disallowance might mean no protections at all for the next decade.

"What we want from Labor right now is time for the environment movement to be able to properly consider the implications of a disallowance.

“Tony Burke is being disingenuous by saying these plans are a step backwards from what is there now. He never got the protections in place before Tony Abbott won office and right now these areas have no protections. Until there is a plan of management, these are marine parks on paper only.

“If the plans are disallowed, then we move from some protections to no protections, and the protection of our oceans has to rely on Labor winning Government and the conservative major and minor parties not having the numbers to disallow whatever plans Labor put in place.

“We understand wanting to send a political message that the Liberals’ plans are appalling, but environment groups are asking us not to rush a disallowance. The Greens will consult widely and weigh up the communities’ views before making a decision.

“There is no need for Labor to rush this. A disallowance could be done any time over the coming months. Environment groups are currently poring over 750 pages of plans to consider the consequences of either course of action. Tony Burke has already jumped the gun by calling for a disallowance before consulting with the environment movement. If he continues to be reckless by rushing this, he risks disrespecting the people who have pushed so hard for decades to get these parks in place,” he concluded.

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Media contact: Tim Beshara 0409164603