Why is the Coral Sea at risk?
The Coral Sea marine sanctuary was established as part of Australia’s national network of marine sanctuaries. The creation of this network crossed political divides and received bi-partisan political support. It was initiated by John Howard’s Coalition Government in 1998, and finalised by the federal Labor Government in 2012. The Greens have been strong advocates, taking action for marine sanctuaries throughout the process.
Yet, in 2013, the former Abbott Government took the extraordinary step of suspending all 44 new federal marine parks – erasing the plans that put their protective zoning in place.
Now, the Coalition Government’s 2018 plans for our National Network of Sanctuaries have passed through parliament – robbing our marine parks of nearly half their sanctuary protection our oceans so desperately need. The cuts to marine icons around Australia are equivalent to removing every second national park on land. Worst hit is our Coral Sea, with roughly half its sanctuary protection removed.
The Coalition Government ignored decades of science, the advice of their own independent review, the pleas of local communities, and the voice of hundreds of thousands of Australians who have been consulted over the years.
Together, let’s make sure that ALL sides of politics hear loud and clear that Australians want to see our sanctuaries fully restored – so they can do the job of protecting our marine life and coastal communities at a time when our oceans need them most.
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