Addressing marine parks is a start to addressing coral bleaching

Friday, April 22, 2016

With increasing evidence that coral bleaching is occurring off the coast of the Kimberley Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert is calling on the Government to urgently reinstate marine parks.

“I have been worried for some time that coral bleaching would also be occurring off the coast of WA and now unfortunately we are starting to see the evidence of this bleaching. I’m deeply concerned that we might have bleaching similar to the scale of that occurring on the Great Barrier Reef”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“When elected, the Government effectively abandoned our comprehensive world leading system of marine parks so they could under-go ‘review’, since then those parks have been just become lines on the map.

“It is all well and good for Greg Hunt to make urgent phone calls when it is clear that coral bleaching is occurring epidemically, but we need action.

“Part of that action is to ensure we have proper protection and reservation – when these areas are properly reserved and managed they will recover much faster.

“I have a motion before the Senate that calls on the Government to operationalise our marine parks.

“My colleague Senator Larissa Waters has done a fantastic job in calling on Greg Hunt to choose between coal or the Great Barrier Reef, I wholeheartedly support those calls.

“With so many coral reefs around the world damaged beyond repair,  and 75% of the world’s reefs at risk from local and global stresses, Australia has an essential role in protecting our reefs.

“Greg Hunt needs to wake up to what is happening to our precious coral reefs around Australia, on the Great Barrier Reef and in the West”.