Over 100 dive and snorkel businesses have banded together to raise their concerns about the Government’s wind back of marine sanctuaries that could come from a review of Australia’s network of marine parks and sanctuaries.
“It is a pleasure to be able table a Statement in the Senate tonight from the Dive Industry Association of Australia, who have legitimate concerns about what the Government’s marine parks review means for the marine environment, loss of protection for unique underwater environments and its associated economy.
“Whilst the Government is not known for being a clear advocate for the environment, it does claim to champion fiscal responsibility.
“Despite this, the Government has neglected to properly quantify just how much the Scuba Dive and Snorkel industry brings to the Australian economy under the tourism umbrella.
“The Government is often so blinkered in bolstering up big business mates, and noisy opponents of protection of our marine protection, that small businesses – especially those related to our environment – get ignored.
“I share concerns that the wind back of marine sanctuaries would place not only the future of marine biodiversity at risk, but the viability of businesses that maintain Australia’s reputation as a world-class nature tourism destination.
“I urge the Government to reinstate our marine sanctuaries so that our marine biodiversity is protected and unique species that include sharks, turtles, rays and high densities of big fish continue to have a safe haven.
“Australians value healthy oceans and we do not need to wind back these reserves”.