The Greens “Healthy Oceans” election policy would deliver much-needed protection to Australia’s unique marine environment, says the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS)
Darren Kindleysides, AMCS chief executive, said he warmly welcomed the policy as it looked to tackle all the major threats to the world’s third largest marine estate – from climate change and farm pollution to plastics and unsustainable fishing.
He said: “Our oceans give Australia so much – we treasure them, but our governments have simply not done enough. All the while the threats of climate change, pollution, oil and gas development and patchy management of fisheries have been mounting up.
“We welcome the Greens pledge that Australia should go 100 per cent renewable by 2030. Climate change is the biggest threat to our Great Barrier Reef and we commend the Greens for a policy that tackles the root of the problem, which is fossil fuels.”
AMCS, Australia’s peak marine conservation group, wants Australia to show strong leadership by stopping the Adani thermal coal mine and embracing clean energy.
“Australians want government that’s willing to take the steps needed to protect our global icon. The Great Barrier Reef needs a strong, independent and well funded governing body.
“Recovering funds from the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and then making the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority responsible for them will restore democratic processes and transparency to Reef funding.
“We welcome the commitment to restore Australia’s marine parks and protect special places like the Great Australian Bight from offshore oil and gas development.
“A commitment from the Greens to protecting all sharks in the Great Barrier Reef and to ending the arcane culling of sharks is also welcomed.
“We are happy the Greens have committed to improve fisheries management. That will mean more sustainable seafood for all Australians.
“Our marine tourism industry around Australia is worth $31 billion to our economy every year. We have more species in our oceans than any other country on Earth. We call on all parties to give voters a serious mix of science-based policies that protect our marine treasures, our economy and our lifestyle.”
AMCS is asking all parties for policies that will deliver “cooler and cleaner oceans” and the group will publicly release an election scorecard to help voters in the weeks before the vote.