The Australian Greens said today it is ironic that Australia is hosting the World Parks Congress when our Government has torn down our world leading system of marine parks.
"The Federal Government should restore our system of marine parks by immediately reinstating their management plans," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on marine issues said.
"It is an international disgrace for Australia to be hosting the World Parks Congress when our Government has taken the retrograde step of suspending the management plans for our marine parks.
"This should be an opportunity for us to celebrate a world leading system of marine protection, as was established under the previous Government with the support of the Greens.
"Instead, Minister Hunt and Prime Minister Abbott have surrendered to scaremongering from the likes of the Nationals and industry groups who are focused on short term profits, rather than the responsible and sustainable management of our oceans.
"The Government's new marine park review is a lengthy and unnecessary process. We know from Senate Estimates that the review won't be given to the Minister until mid-2015, meaning the management plans, in whatever weakened state, will not be implemented before 2016 at the earliest.
The review is costing $2.4m this financial year alone, which is a needless expense given the decade long process which went into developing the marine parks system in the first place.
"In the spirit of the World Parks Congress the Government should recognise the value of our marine parks to national and international conservation and sustainable resource management and commit to ensuring Australia's marine parks are reinstated," Senator Siewert concluded.