Minister To Adopt Auditor-General’s Marine Management Report

Minister To Adopt Auditor-General’s Marine Management Report

Victoria Minister for Environment & Climate Change Ryan Smith

Labor Sinks In Marine Parks Report

Victor P Taffa

Environment and Climate Change Minister Ryan Smith told Parliament today the Auditor- General’s findings in the Environmental Management of Marine Protected Areas validated the Coalition’s concerns about the former Labor Government’s dismal management of Marine Parks.

“Today’s report spells out exactly why the Coalition pledged at the election to have the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council examines outcomes of existing marine parks and any ongoing biodiversity threats or challenges.”

“Not only was the Labor Government the neighbour from hell on land, the Auditor-General’s report shows Labor became the neighbour from hell on our seas as well.” Mr. Smith said.

“This report confirms what we have suspected all along under the Labor Government there was limited information that Marine Protected Areas were working.”

“The Labor Government failed to adequately ensure marine pest biosecurity at the time that Victorian abalone stocks were being decimated by a virus that was threatening the future of Victoria’s fisheries industry.” Mr. Smith said.

“Furthermore, the Auditor-General found $34 Million of the $38 Million the Labor Government provided to Parks Victoria for the management of marine protected areas could not be reliably accounted for.”

Mr. Smith said he looked forward to working with Parks Victoria to address the concerns raised in the Auditor-General’s report particularly strengthening accountability for the allocation of taxpayers’ funds, new report cards on marine national parks, and plans to develop a revised Marine National Parks and Marine Sanctuaries Management Strategy.

Mr. Smith said the Baillieu Government will adopt all recommendations from the Auditor-General’s Report.