Marine Packs Protection To Finally Commence After Senate Vote

28 March 2018

The Nick Xenophon Team has voted to end an era of uncertainty surrounding protection of Commonwealth marine parks by supporting the passage of the Coalition's Marine Park Management Plans through the Senate. 

"Uncertainty and lack of protection has existed since December 2013 and the Senate's vote last night has finally resolved this," said Senator Rex Patrick, NXT's Environment Spokesperson. 

"On 19 March 2018, NXT wrote to the Government stating that the preferred position of the team was to support the Management Plans that were a result of the 2015 Commonwealth Marine Reserves Review, plans colloquially known as the 'Buxton Maps'. Unfortunately that option was not put to the Parliament. 

"While the Coalition maps do not represent NXT's preferred option, perfect can be the enemy of the good. The team were of the view that it was better to support what was on the table than to have no protection at all.

"Voting against the Plans would have continued the uncertainty until after the next election and even then, there would be no guarantee that an alternate government would get the numbers to change what will always be a controversial area of policy."

Importantly for South Australians, there will be additional protections for Kangaroo Island.

"After listening to NXT, and in particular Rebekha Sharkie, the Member for Mayo, the Coalition modified their maps and recategorised the Southern and Western Kangaroo Island Marine Parks as a mining exclusion zone. This is a good change that did not exist under either Labor's proposed management plans, or the Buxton maps," said Rex.

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