Garrett says 60% of people want more Green Zones

Wednesday 16 September


Garrett says 60% of people want more Green Zones


According to a Government media release, Environment Minister Peter Garrett met with conservation groups last week to discuss the Commonwealth's review of marine protection zones.  The Government is currently considering creating marine sanctuaries in the south-west region, from Geraldton to Kangaroo Island.


It has also made a commitment to assess the need for greater protection along the entire Australian coastline by 2012.


A new poll has found that more than 60 per cent of Australians want greater marine protection on the south-west coastline.


Up to 90 per cent of the marine life here is found nowhere else in the world, yet less than 1 per cent of the region is protected.  The survey of 4,000 people found over 2,400 of them want at least half the area to be given greater protection.


Michelle Grady, from the Pew Environment Group who commissioned the poll, says people are concerned that so little of the ocean is protected from major activities.  'It's very, very important that we take this opportunity to protect them,' she said.


Ms Grady says large marine parks must be established if key ocean species are to survive.  'The Australian people want to see far higher levels of marine protection than currently exists in Australian waters,' she said.  'Less than 1 per cent of this area is protected and with the oil spill this week, it's clear there are significant risks out there in the marine environment and the insurance we need to put in place is large marine sanctuaries.'


Editors comment - This initiative would include the Great Barrier Reef and the surrounding fishing rights.  Presumably this legislation would have a major impact on our already depleted local fishing industry. This Ms Grady seems to have a lot to say on behalf of the Pew Environment Group and the Australian people.  It is my experience that these things are never clear cut so is anyone speaking for the commercial side of the argument to discuss compromise or is this matter the exception that proves the rule ?   Comments please

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