Mining exclusion zone critical for KI

Mining exclusion zone critical for KI

The Federal Government’s recent decision to introduce a mining exclusion zone in the Southern and Western Kangaroo Island Marine Parks has been welcomed by the Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie.

The additional protections, announced in late March, come after strong lobbying by the MP and her NXT Senate colleagues during consultation on the Government’s Marine Park Management Plans.

“The fact that companies cannot come in and mine around those areas is critical,” Rebekha said.

“In my discussions with the Government about the marine parks, I raised the strong local concerns of my community on Kangaroo Island about mining and drilling near the island coastline

“Kangaroo Island’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism and aquaculture, and no-one wants to see their local environment and reputation damaged by a potential oil spill

“I was pleased to see that the Government listened to my concerns and the community’s concerns.

“There is now a mining exclusion zone for all of the Southern Kangaroo Island Marine Park, and for most of the Western Kangaroo Island Marine Park.”

Rebekha said the re-categorisation of the Southern and Western Kangaroo Island Marine Parks as a mining exclusion zone was a decision made by Government based on the arguments put up by NXT.

“The zone is a welcome bonus but it had no influence on NXT’s decision to support the Government’s maps in the Senate on Tuesday night,” she said.

“We told the Government that we supported the maps produced by the independent scientific review completed in 2015 because the science was robust and we were impressed with the comprehensive stakeholder consultation.

"The maps represented a reasonable compromise between the different competing interests.

“We asked for the independent maps to be tabled with the inclusion of the Kangaroo Island mining exclusion zone.

“But the Government chose to put its own maps to the Parliament and given that Labor’s proposed marine park zones did not go into legal effect in 2014, except in South-Western Australia, we faced with the choice of either some marine protection for the rest of Australia, or no protection at all.

“The Government’s maps do represent a significant reduction of environmental marine protection compared to what Labor had drafted but there were no other protections on offer.

“You cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good so NXT did support these maps and we hope they will provide some certainty for marine protection across Australia."

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