Oct 24, 2005

Action needed to protect Australia’s ocean ecology

Action needed to protect Australia’s ocean ecology

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

24 October 2005

The Howard Government’s incompetent handling of marine protection will be highlighted at a major international conference being held in Geelong from today.

In November 2000, the Howard Government promised to safeguard the ocean ecology of south-eastern Australia.

Five years later, in the May 2005 Budget, the National Oceans Office was abolished as an independent agency.

Whilst plans have been developed to make marine areas candidates for protection, not one marine protected area has been created in south-eastern Australia.

It is outrageous that after five years of twiddling their thumbs the Howard Government has provided no legal protection for south-eastern Australia’s ocean ecology.

The first International Marine Protected Areas Congress, being held in Geelong today, is a timely reminder of the need to protect our marine plant and animal species.

The Howard Government actually does very little to protect Australia’s iconic environment and heritage.

The Great Barrier Reef is under dire threat from climate change, yet the Howard Government refuses to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

The Howard Government doesn’t think the Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo Reef are important enough to protect through the National Heritage List.