Minister attacks feds’ cuts to marine parks
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.