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Hunt’s announcement of review into Marine Debris is welcome but months overdue

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 29 Jun 2015

Greens spokesperson for Fisheries, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, welcomes the belated announcement by the Environment Minister that a review of the Marine Debris Threat Abatement Plan has been completed.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Last October, in Senate Estimates, I asked if the review into the Threat Abatement Plan into Marine Debris was underway. The department official replied that the review was underway and would be completed by the end of that calendar year.

“So to hear that the review of the plan has finally been released six months after the department said it would be finished came as quite a surprise.

“The EPBC legislation states that reviews into Threat Abatement Plans need to occur no later than 5 years after they were implemented, meaning that by law this review was due in May, 2014.

“I’m glad that the review has finally been completed, although I am disappointed that this was done with little to no stakeholder engagement, particularly with states like Queensland and Victoria that are working to establish Container Deposit Schemes.

“Only a few weeks ago, the Senate passed a Greens motion to establish an Inquiry into Marine Debris.

“There is a definite need for national leadership to develop a co-ordinated approach to dealing with the increasing scourge of marine debris, especially plastics.

“I hope that the Senate Inquiry will bring together experts in the impacts of marine plastics and practitioners from all levels of government to come up with an integrated approach for Australia.

“It is fortunate that now the Senate Inquiry will be able to hold the government’s review of the Threat Abatement Plan up to scrutiny,” he concluded.

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