Greens Marine spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert says efforts to establish a comprehensive network of marine parks around the Australian coast have been jeopardised by a lack of investment in the Federal Budget.
“The Marine Bioregional Planning Process has been underway for a long time – it’s more than a year since the closure of public comments on the first planning area, the South West region, and we’re yet to see any announcement from the Government,” Senator Siewert said today.
“The importance of this process is not being reflected in the Government’s investment in marine planning.
“It has been estimated that a $350 million investment in the marine planning and implementation process is needed for areas such as ongoing management and fisheries adjustment, to ensure the successful implementation of the plans. But the Government contributed just $50 million for work in the budget.
“This inadequate allocation undermines the marine investment to date by not injecting the funding that is required.
“The Greens strongly favour a scientific approach to marine conservation, which balances protection with well managed fisheries and sustainable industries.
“The consensus of scientific opinion is clear, that a planned and well managed network of marine sanctuaries in crucial areas is needed to deliver the best long term protection and stability.
“This is something that has been talked about for 15 years. The ongoing delays and lack of investment casts doubts over the process, and that is very disappointing.
“I hope Minister Burke takes steps to deliver marine protection in the coming months,” Senator Siewert concluded.