The Greens condemn today’s decision by the Berejiklian Government to walk away from an effective marine park for Sydney and surrounds.
Marine spokesperson Justin Field said, “This is an anti-environment, anti-science Government who has shown they will always pander to vested interests over the best interests of the entire community.
“A majority of the community backs protecting our marine environment and coastline and this proposal for a network of protected areas, including marine sanctuaries, would help deliver healthy oceans and fish for the future. To walk away from the marine network plan before the consultation process even concluded is a massive breach of community trust.
“There has been a concerted effort by vested political, industry and media interests to pressure Liberal/National MPs in marginal seats and it is disappointing the Government has allowed these interests to undermine democracy and the consultation process in this way.
“Marine sanctuaries are vital for an effective marine protected network, they are an important part of ensuring healthy oceans for the future. These sanctuaries are scientifically proven to increase the diversity, abundance and biomass of marine life.
“Fully protected marine sanctuaries are a critical component to any marine park planning. Today’s announcement that sanctuaries will not be considered in the plan means that it will not be a marine park. Any suggestion otherwise is just spin.
“The cowardice shown by the Government in walking away from an effective Sydney Marine Park sets a disturbing, undemocratic precedent and will not be forgotten. This backflip increases the likelihood of MPs in marginal seats being targeted again and again by narrow vested interests in the lead-up to the State election.
“It’s a symptom of a government that has lost its direction with a vacuum in leadership that allows those who shout loudest to get their way despite the science and support from the broader community. You wouldn’t accept this in the school yard, let alone as a plan for running NSW,” he said.