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5 September 2012 - Supertrawler Margiris another reason why the Minister must reconsider plans for environmental reform      

Supertrawler Margiris another reason why the Minister must reconsider plans for environmental reform

5 September, 2012                                                  

Humane Society International (HSI) is concerned at statements made by the Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke MP, that environment laws aren’t strong enough for him to intervene to reduce the impacts on threatened species from the supertrawler Margiris.

This is concerning in light of the proposals being put forward by Government which will in essence hand over these decision making powers on fisheries’ management. If passed, fisheries’ managers will, in future, be authorised to make these decisions without opportunity for intervention from the Minister, further limiting the Minister’s influence.

Once legislation to amend our federal environment laws has been introduced later this Spring, Minister Burke’s powers to intervene in the supertrawler case, or any other fishery, to ensure threatened species are protected from the impacts of fishing, will be even further reduced,” said Alexia Wellbelove of HSI.

HSI urges the Minister to carefully consider the impacts of the proposed legislation in light of his recent interventions on the supertrawler Margiris. If this were to happen again in 2013 he would have even less of a say than he has today. Should the Minister really be handing all his powers over at the risk of further loss of Australia’s protected species?”

For the Minister to hand this vital function over at a time when he is claiming he has no powers is extremely concerning. We are therefore calling on the Minister not to introduce the proposed amendments to our environmental legislation, and to retain these vital powers so that the wildlife we all love can continue to be protected.”

HSI is opposing the proposed package of amendments to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, which we believe will result in a backwards step for our environment at a time when we need to be making progress.

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