Marine Reserves and Foreign Fishing Vessels

I have been contacted by many constituents regarding marine national parks and the potential move by the Liberal Government to let foreign fishing vessels in to Australian waters.

The Government’s recently released plans to wind back protections in our oceans are even worse than we feared.

Federal Labor is committed to the sustainable management of Australia’s marine resources and we are a strong defender and manager of our oceans and those who use them. Labor put the world’s largest network of marine parks in place in 2013, protecting over 2.3 million square kilometres of our oceans. It was based on the latest science and extensive community consultation.

When Tony Abbott got in to power he put these plans on hold. The Turnbull Government is now trying to lock in the largest removal of area from conservation in history. No government anywhere in the world, on land or sea, has ever removed this much area from conservation. It’s the largest step backwards in areas under conservation in history.

There will be many losers as a result of this decision. At a time when ocean health is at critical levels the opportunity to establish resilience in large protected areas is seriously damaged by this decision.

Recreational fishers have now lost the largest ‘recreational only’ fishing area in the world and large-scale industrial fishing and supertrawlers have now received a standing invitation from the Australian Government to exploit Australia’s marine life.

Malcolm Turnbull and Josh Frydenberg will forever now be saddled with the global reputation of having removed more area from conservation than any other people ever.

It is now clear that the only way to properly protect our oceans is to change the government.

The Government’s plans to cut marine parks are currently in the Senate. Labor moved to disallow them but the disallowance votes were defeated 34-28. Labor has moved another disallowance of the Government’s plans. We expect this to be voted on in August. We still have a chance to block the process if the cross bench joins us.

You can make your voice heard by:

Senator Stirling Griff


Senator Rex Patrick


Senator Tim Storer


Senator Derryn Hinch


Senator Steve Martin


Labor will stand with the community in saying no to changing rules that allow boats to strip our waters of fish and will stand up against the Government’s plans to strip away marine national park protections.