Min­is­ter at­tacks feds’ cuts to marine parks

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

THE Queens­land Min­is­ter for the Great Bar­rier Reef, Steven Miles, has slammed the Fed­eral Govern­ment’s pro­posal to­day to de­crease the Co­ral Sea marine park pro­tected area by 76 per cent.

“This lat­est Fed­eral Govern­ment Marine Re­serves re­view pro­poses to cut pro­tec­tions for our marine life and their habi­tat.

“This is an­other ex­am­ple of the Turn­bull Govern­ment walk­ing away from the Great Bar­rier Reef.

“Marine Pro­tec­tion is not only good for the en­vi­ron­ment it is good for the Queens­land tourism in­dus­try and the 64,000 jobs in sup­ports.

Mr Miles said the cuts would af­fect ar­eas along the coasts of Western Aus­tralia, the North­ern Ter­ri­tory and New South Wales but that the im­pact on Queens­land’s Co­ral Sea was perhaps the worst.

“The Co­ral Sea is a very im­por­tant buf­fer for the Great Bar­rier Reef and a very im­por­tant nat­u­ral as­set for Queens­land.

“It pro­vides a safe haven for much of the marine life found in the Reef.

“These draft plans go above and be­yond the cuts that even the Ab­bott Govern­ment wanted to make. Boost­ing Ab­bott’s 46 per cent cut to 76 per cent.

“Any cut to pro­tec­tions for these marine en­vi­ron­ments is un­ac­cept­able,” Mr Miles said.

Mr Miles said the Reef was al­ready suf­fer­ing the im­pacts of cli­mate change and co­ral bleach­ing and did not need the extra pres­sure.

“We have had two back to back co­ral bleach­ing events on the GBR and the fed­eral govern­ment wants to down­grade a safe haven for marine life.

“All so that they can in­crease long-line fish­ing and seafloor trawl­ing which will dec­i­mate fish pop­u­la­tions. To call this short sighted is an un­der­state­ment,” Mr Miles said.

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