The Greens unequivocally oppose the recommendations of a stacked Government review that was solely set up to provide cover for Tony Abbott’s green-bashing election stunt to wind-back the newly-established Commonwealth Marine Reserves.
Abbott’s decision to take an axe to marine conservation was simply part of his wider agenda of opening up the world heritage areas in Tasmania for logging, gutting the EPBC Act, removing charity status for environment groups and killing off any climate action.
Greg Hunt set up a review which delivered a report before the 2016 election but was only just released. One part of the review says clearly that these marine reserves are essential and the process to set them up was valid. But the other part of the review makes a sweeping set of recommendations to open up swathes of these reserves for commercial activity. This is like saying we need to protect the Daintree rainforest and then leasing it out to farmers to graze their cattle.
We hope that the Government will see sense and ditch the recommendations of the review and we look forward to holding them to account on this.
So many people have fought tirelessly to ensure Australia protects its world-class seascapes and the precious biodiversity that you can find there; none more than Greens Senator Rachel Siewert who has given so much to get this far. I look forward to making sure we overcome the barriers the Liberals have put in our way to deliver the marine reserve areas Australia needs.