The super trawler F.V. Margiris has been stalled by the amendment to the Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 passing the House of Representatives today, but Rob Oakeshott's amendments are bad for fisheries and bad for communities, the Australian Greens said today.
"People across the community will be relieved that the super trawler has been stalled, but I cannot fathom why Rob Oakeshott wants to start its engines again as soon as possible," Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.
"Rob Oakeshott has sold out the future and sold out fishing communities by inserting a sunset clause and taking the economic and social impacts of the super trawler out the of equation.
"Everywhere around Australia, concern has been not only been about the impact on the environment but also that the super trawler would put out of business fishing communities around the country, including in Mr Oakeshott's home of Port Macquarie. They will be deeply disappointed that Mr Oakeshott isn't concerned about their livelihood or recreation."
"There are just too many risks surrounding the operation of an industrial scale trawler in Commonwealth waters and this is the culmination of many months of fact-finding and working with relevant stakeholder groups," Senator Peter Whish-Wilson stated.
"I look forward to grilling the Fisheries Minister in the Senate next week as to what exactly the Government is proposing during the hiatus period on 'super trawling' the bill provides for.
"Our preferred result would have been to have had a blanket ban on such vessels and a cancellation of the existing quotas while more research was undertaken.
"At least we now have some clear water to sit back and take a good look at how AFMA has handled this issue.
"It's pretty clear there are still myriad unanswered questions surrounding just who has been working on bringing the Margiris to Australia for almost seven years."
The bill is expected to go before the Senate early next week.