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'Leader to laggard': the backlash to Australia’s planned marine park cutbacks

Graham Readfearn reports in The Guardian (22.3.18) on new marine park management plans proposed by the Turnbull government, as conservation groups release an analysis showing that protection for 35 million hectares of ocean will be downgraded.

'More than 35m hectares of “no-take” ocean will be stripped from Australia’s marine parks if plans released by the government go ahead, according to analysis commissioned by conservation groups.

'The environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, released plans for 44 marine parks on Tuesday, claiming a “more balanced and scientific evidence-based approach to ocean protection”.

'But the analysis carried out by the independent Centre for Conservation Geography (CCG), commissioned by an alliance of conservation groups, says the new plans will allow “destructive commercial fishing activities” in 37 of the 44 marine parks.

'Labor moved quickly, and tabled disallowance motions against all five management plans for the marine zones in the Senate on Wednesday.

'The opposition environment spokesman, Tony Burke, told Guardian Australia the new plans represented the “largest reduction in area that’s in conservation of any country in the world, ever” and the only option available was to try to block the plans and demand the government start again.'


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