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Retrograde position on climate change threatens WA’s oceans

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 14 Nov 2013

The Australian Greens said today that the Government's backwards step on climate change poses a serious threat to WA's oceans.

"Tony Abbott's Government has introduced a Bill to repeal the carbon price legislation," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens marine and fisheries spokesperson said today.

"The Coalition are ignoring the fact that climate change is having an increasing impact on our lives and our environment, including our oceans, putting the future of our marine environment, tourism, commercial fishing, and recreation-based industries at risk.

"It is clear from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that climate change is impacting sea levels, ocean warming, increased acidification and changes to salinity levels. Climate change has also been linked to alterations to some of our ocean currents, driving them closer to the poles. These threats all have the capacity to profoundly affect WA's marine ecosystems. 

"As these trends continue, the distribution of plant and animal life will change. Our waters will become more habitable for invasive species, while the life cycles and migration patterns of other species will change.

"This is significant for WA's future, given that economic analysis from the Centre for Policy Development shows our South-West ecosystem is worth $2.9 billion each year through tourism, fishing and recreation.

"Our marine environments need to be protected from these increasing threats. Action on climate change is an important part of this, as is maintaining a strong system of marine protected areas to protect fish stocks and important marine environments.

"The Coalition has signaled an intention to dismantle Australia's world class network of marine parks by dumping the current management plans and ignoring more than 10 years of science and consultation.

"Ignoring the science when it comes to climate change and marine protection is an irresponsible step that jeopardises the future of our state," Senator Siewert concluded.

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