​Media Release

Marine park reforms a win for environment, fishers and plain common sense

28 March 2018

Evidence-based reforms to the Commonwealth network of marine parks are a win for the environment and fishers as well as plain old common sense.

​Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston welcomed the passage of the Turnbull Government's marine park management plans.

"What's really important about these reforms is that they're based on real evidence gathered by the latest independent scientific research and exhaustive consultation with all legitimate stakeholders," Minister Ruston said.

"It contrasts starkly to the purely ideological approach taken by the former Labor government to lock Australians out from their own oceans. We have maintained the right to fish.

"The reforms constituted a genuinely balanced approach to the sustainable management of Australia's marine resources and the environment."

Minister Ruston said Australia was recognised as a world leader in sustainable fisheries management, and that reforms to marine parks ensured important natural features of the nation's marine environments will have strong protection.

"No fishery solely managed by the Commonwealth is subject to overfishing," she said.

"These reforms mean that our marine park network will now cover 36% of Australia's oceans, well in excess of the United Nations benchmark of 10%, while also allowing greater access for sustainable fishing by the commercial, recreational and Indigenous fishers.

"The Turnbull Government's reforms also mean more natural features will be protected than under Labor's colouring-in approach. Green zones in our marine parks total half the area of New South Wales, and protected sea floor habitats total almost the area of Victoria.

​"The government has consulted extensively on the reforms, listening to Australians rather than northern hemisphere NGOs seeking to take away our rights.

"We want all Australians to be able to enjoy our oceans and continue to feed their families safe, local and sustainable seafood both now and in the future. This is a victory for common sense."​