Australian Greens spokesperson on Marine issues has labelled Tony Abbott quietly granting exploration permits on marine sanctuaries as ‘yet another shameless example of his Government prioritising the dirty fuel industry over the environment".
“I urge the Prime Minister to halt his attack on marine sanctuaries, to reinstate the sanctuaries and repeal the permits granted over sanctuaries.
“When the Prime Minister is not trying to de-list World Heritage Listed forest in Tasmania or dredge the Great Barrier Reef, he is now trying to trash marine sanctuaries by permitting petroleum exploration.
“This news will stand as a true test for Environment Minister Greg Hunt. Will he stand by while our precious marine sanctuaries are basically given away to the petroleum industry or will he seek to protect these areas that have been identified for protection?
“To hear that sanctuaries under threat include important migratory habitat for humpback whales, blue whales, sea lions, and breeding habitat for the western rock lobster would be particularly distressing for Australians that value a vibrant marine eco-system off our coasts.
“This is a clear sign that Tony Abbott is once again trying to wind back protection levels for marine reserves that enable marine life off our shores to flourish.
“The Australian Greens will stand firm with maintaining the definition of a marine ‘sanctuary’, perhaps Mr Abbott should look up just what that word means”.