The Government must strengthen protection for Western Australian reefs and reinstate marine parks to help combat worsening coral bleaching, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
"In estimates this week it was revealed that the review into marine parks won't be released until after the election, meaning it will be a significant period of time before our marine parks are operational, this is not good enough.
“The Climate Council’s report released today on reefs warns that coral bleaching events are to become more frequent and severe.
“The report rightfully points out that in my home state of Western Australia reefs will continue to suffer thermal stress in May, with possible mortality.
“It is so saddening to hear that between 60-90% of the coral on Scott Reef in the North-West have already bleached, with half the corals dead in some areas.
“At this stage we don't know the extent of the coral bleaching event off WA because the bleaching is on-going, this is a major cause for concern.
“Western Australian’s care about healthy oceans, this was shown in huge community backlash for shark culling in recent years.
“Funding in the budget is piecemeal for our reefs, with little commitment for reefs in the West. We need urgent action now”.