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Coral Sea Conservation Zone saved: Greens

A battle of Senate tactics went the way of the Government and Greens with Senator Xenophon's support tonight, blocking a bid by the Opposition to disallow the Coral Sea Conservation Zone.

An Opposition disallowance motion seemed set to succeed and would have stymied Environment Minister Peter Garrett's proclamation of the Coral Sea Conservation Zone. The Coalition tactic was to talk out the motion and avoid a vote.

The Greens moved a last minute motion, supported by the Government and most of the cross-bench, which led to the vote being put.

Senator Xenophon voted with the Government and Greens, while Senator Fielding voted with the Coalition leading to a 31 to 31 vote - which meant that the opposition's bid failed.

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert described the Coral Sea as "...a unique marine habitat which is highly bio-diverse marine area with species found nowhere else in the world."

"This is one of the last places on earth where populations of species such as sharks, tuna and billfish are not severely depleted and must be protected," she concluded.

For more information or media inquiries, please call Tim Norton on 0418 401 180

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