Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Liberals plan to wreck oceans fails in House of Representatives

Media release
4 June 2013

The Coalition's motion to disallow the marine park management zones in the House of Representatives was defeated 71 to 70.

Environment Minister Tony Burke said Australia's precious oceans were now permanently protected.

"Late last year this Government acted to create national parks in our oceans, as we have protected similar areas on land," Mr Burke said.

"The reform is world leading, based on the best available science and follows five rounds of consultation.

"The marine reserves have been designed to have a minimal impact on rec and commercial fishing.

"This was a culmination of more than 20 years of work that began under the Keating Government and continued under the Howard Government.

"But in one vote, the Coalition wanted to destroy this and put our oceans at risk.

"In fact, the Coalition's negativity has gone so far, that they even moved disallowance for the south east zone, which was created by the Howard Government.

"It's apparently not enough to try to wreck conservation attempts by this Government, they have to attack what little environmental legacy there was from the Howard Government and get rid of that too.

"In the power of wanting to say no, just like they did when it was with the super trawler. If it's about protecting the ocean, this opposition says no.

"This Government has a proud record of protecting the oceans. Two futures are now on offer. Tony Abbott's plan plunders the oceans, ours' protects them."