REGULATIONS AND DETERMINATIONS Small Pelagic Fishery Total Allowable Catch (Quota Species) Determination 2012 Disallowance


Senator IAN MACDONALD (Queensland) (16:23): If evidence were needed, you have just heard with the previous speaker on this motion just how the Greens political party will stop at nothing to advance some of the ideas which they, for their own purposesand I can never quite understand thiswant to put onto the Australian public.

I must say that Australia had the most sustainable forestry industry in the world. It provided jobs and wealth for Tasmania, but the Greens over a period of time have ensured that that industry has just about collapsed and so we are left to import our timber from countries around the world that have nowhere near the sustainable management practices that had been implemented in Tasmania. I can only think that the Tasmanian Greens want to see the day when that lovely state of Tasmania is economically bankrupt and is only held together by federal and state government grants and federal and state government workers. Every single enterprise that could make Tasmania the great state it once used to be seems to be in the sights of the Greens political party. It just distresses me as an Australian to see the most sustainable forestry industry in the world now on its knees. The Greens think that is pretty good. They do not mind about all the people out of work. They do not mind about the fact that the Tasmanian economy continues to fail and falter. They are able then to roam around the world with all their other leftist greenie mates and say, 'Look how good we are in Tasmania. We have shut down every private business. We have made Tasmania totally dependent upon government funding.'

Senator Whish-Wilson: What about the wineries

Senator IAN MACDONALD: Give the wineries a little time, Senator Whish-Wilson. You will regret the day when the Greens, having succeeded in shutting down the forestry industry and having succeeded in shutting down the fisheries industry, look elsewhere. What will they turn on next Can I suggest to you that it will probably be the winery industry, 'Look, it is allowing too many sediments,' or 'They have got to use some chemicals that will destroy some made up creature.' Mark my words, Senator, I anticipate that your former industry will be the subject of the next Greens campaign.

The disallowance of the Small Pelagic Fishery Total Allowable Catch (Quota Species) Determination 2012 motion is about fisheries, but I cannot talk about that easily. I really get quite emotional about the forestry industry in Tasmania because it was a great industry; it was the most sustainably managed in the world and now it is just finished. I have to say that I played a part in it. I, along with the CFMEU and eventually the support of the Labor Party in 2004, had that plan well documented, supported by the voters of Tasmania. I was followed as the minister by Senator Abetz who carried through the arrangements that had been made with the CFMEU, the Labor Party, the Tasmanian government, and it looked like we had a bright future again for the timber industry in Tasmania.

But no, the Greens never give up. As is often said: give them 15 per cent and they will accept that this week, but next week they will want 20 per cent, and the year after they will want 50 per cent, and they will keep going until they shut the industry down. This is about a fisheries disallowance, but I get emotional whenever I think about the beautiful state of Tasmania, a state that had so much to offer as part of Australia's economy. To see it now on its kneesthanks to the work of the Greens political party, initiated by their former leader who, thankfully, has moved on from this place, and some of the ideas that through persistence they have continued to impose upon the Tasmanian peoplemakes me feel very emotional. But if they want to ruin their own state of Tasmania, I guess that is for them.

But now they come up to the Coral Sea, a fishery which only had a few hundred tonnes of fish ever taken out of it, and suddenly, thanks to the Greens political party and their influence on a weak and divided Labor Party, they are going to shut down the whole Coral Seafor what purpose, I do not know. What is the purpose There was never any substantial fishing there. The only fishing there was by the marlin boats that would go out and catch some marlin, tag them so you could get a bit of scientific data, throw them back and move on. It created jobs and wealth and international tourist numbers into Cairns and Port Douglas and the Coral Sea.

Thanks to the Greens now, there is another industry in my state that is on its knees because of the work of the Greens political party. Don't worry about what support you have; if you say it often enough the Greens will get some loony group around the worldPew or someone else like thatto fund them and keep funding them until they do it.

Senator Whish-Wilson interjecting

Senator IAN MACDONALD: I hear the question: where is the science I was just about to talk about that. I was just going to quote from Professor Keith Sainsbury from the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies. This report of 6 July 2012 is well known to everybody, including to the Greens, but they will not talk about it because they do not want to quote anybody who has some scientific knowledge.

In my four years as the fisheries minister in the Howard government I came to respect the science, the expertise and the commitment of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority. It is recognised, world wide, as one of the best fisheries management authorities. That is why, as Senator Ludwig quoted earlier, Australian fisheries are seen as one of the best managed in the world. We have nothing to be ashamed of; in fact, we have everything to be proud of given the way the Australian Fisheries Management Authority has managed our fisheries.

I might say that it was the coalition government that had Australia's first-ever oceans policy. As a result of that, we decided to have marine bioregions, and the very first one was in the south-east of Australia. Through consultation that went over many months between conservationists, the fishing industry, the recreational industryall the stakeholderswe eventually came to a plan which has worked in the south-east. It allows for recreational fishing, it allows for commercial fishing, it allows for conservation zones; it allows for the restoration of the orange roughy fishery, which was mentioned by the previous speaker. This is what you can do with good science and goodwill and an arrangement that works with all relevant stakeholders.

The Greens do not want to look at the scientific reports, and if I have time I will read some of these into the record. The Greens political party follow the Julia Gillard approach to life: promise something, make an untruth about it and then you can get away with it. So Senator Milne, the previous speaker, attacked Senator Abetz for quoting from a report by saying: 'However, he left out this crucial bit,' which she then quoted. If Senator Milne has a look at Hansard she will see that Senator Abetz actually did say that. But she got up straight after him and said he did not do it. That incident in itself means little, except that it shows the approach and the tactics of the Greens political party: don't worry about the truth, don't worry about scientific evidence, just keep ranting your left-wing, loony mantra and eventually you will succeed. Regrettably, they have succeeded, practically shutting down the forestry industry and being well on the way to doing the same for the fisheries industry here.

Need I bring a discordant note into this debate by actually quoting from the scientists about this fishery Professor Sainsbury says:

I have no doubt that this fishery is an example of world's best practice and it meets or exceeds the most rigorous scientific requirements for an ecologically sustainable fishery on forage fish.

This is the one that the Greens say is about to be decimated by an arrangement that has been approved by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority. Professor Sainsbury went on to say:

These requirements are designed to be ecologically safe, especially in relation to dependent predators in the food web, for all the known food webs in the world.

I could read on, but this is publicly available. The Greens know it is therebut that is Professor Sainsbury, he is a scientist, he actually knows what he is talking about, and that does not count when you come to Senator Milne, who dismisses people like Professor Sainsbury and brings her version of good science to this chamber. It is the same sort of thing as we saw with Senator Milne's good friend Professor Flannery, the guy who told us six-metre tidal increases were going to inundate coastal parts of Australia and then went out and bought a property on the banks of a river just north of Sydney.

Senator Milne interjecting

Senator IAN MACDONALD: You say, 'What's that got to do with the price of eggs' I am saying he has the same sort of approach as the Greens political party, and Senator Milne in particular. I do not know some of the newer Greens senators and I often say Senator Siewert is the only genuine environmentalist in the Greens political party, but Senator Milne is just a political warrior. I congratulate you, Senator Milne, as you have been very effective in both the Tasmanian parliament and this parliament in shutting down the timber industry and in making Tasmania a completely mendicant state, and you are well on your way to doing it with the fisheries industry.

Fortunately, I have to say, the Labor Party understand about jobs in Tasmania and initially were with us on the forestry. They have wobbled a bit in recent times, but I am pleased to say the government on this occasion is recognising just what loony approaches you get from the ultra-left-wing political ideology driven group that call themselves the Greens political party.

In this instance I am delighted that Senator Ludwig has had the backbone and the fortitude to go with the science and ignore those who keep his government in power.

The mistruths peddled by the Greens in this particular debate even make Ms Gillard's promise that 'There will be no carbon tax under a government that I lead,' almost look truthful. The Greens tell you that this is a Dutch boat that is going to do it. The fact is that it is an Australian flagged vessel.

Senator Milne: No, it is not.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: The vessel is to be operated by Seafish Tasmania, a business that has been catching and processing jack mackerel since the early 1980s.

Senator Milne: Madam Acting Deputy President, I rise on a point of order. It is a Lithuanian flagged vessel.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator McKenzie ): There is no point of order.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: The vessel is to be based in Devonport, Tasmania. The crew will be principally Australian. It will fish outside the three-mile state limits and the catch is going to be frozen on boardwhich makes the whole exercise more productive. I do not say this in a scientific way, but my understanding is that the licences that were there for several fishing operations have been combined and are now being worked off this one vessel because it is more efficient and it is more ecologically sustainable. One of the owners said:

We are extremely confident our fishing operation will result in long-term employment and economic benefits for Devonport and the North-West Coast of Tasmania.

But why bother saying that to the Greens political party The things they are least interested in are employment and economic benefits for Devonport, the north-west coast of Tasmania or indeed anywhere in Australia.

The fish targetedredbait, jack mackerel and blue mackerellive near the surface of the water column, not at the bottom of the water column. They continuously swim in open water and they tend to be nomadic. It is managed, as I said before, by AFMA under a statutory management place.

I heard Senator Milne talk about what I loosely describe as a 'move on' provision. As Senator Milne well knows, the operators of this boat, the Australians who make a living sustainably catching fish in this small pelagic fishery, have said that they are happy to do this. So I would have thought that Senator Milne would have been congratulating them for their agreement to do thiseven though they are not required to and even though AFMA and the scientists say that it is not necessary. But, if there is a concern with the local recreational fishing people, they are very happy to do that, because they want to work with others.

Senator Milne indicates that only the Greens are interested in the recreational fishing industry. Well, anyone that knows anything about recreational fishing knows that the political party that has most helped recreational fishing in Australia over many, many years is of course the Liberal-National party. I remind senatorsalthough you should not need remindingthat it was the Howard government that introduced a $15 million program to actually put some money into helping the recreational fishing industry.

In North Queensland and the Coral Sea, we understand what the recreational fishing industry is about. We understand how, as environmental managers, they are perhaps as good as the scientists and the fishery managers. Most recreational fishermen understand what it is all aboutas do the commercial fishermen. When the recreational fishing people in the north, in the Coral Sea, are willing to string up any Green that they can find, it is interesting to hear Senator Milne say how the Greens are looking after recreational fishermen in Tasmania. I suggest that they should get the Tasmanians to have a talk to the North Queensland brethren, and they will realise that they are being duped by the words that flow out of the mouths of the Greens in Tasmania.

I conclude my remarks on this subject by again saying that the Australian Fisheries Management Authority has an enviable worldwide record for proper management of fisheries.

Senator Milne: What about the orange roughy

Senator IAN MACDONALD: The orange roughy is coming back, Senator, and I mentioned that. But this is typicalas was the case with Senator Abetz. He quotes something and you get up and accuse him of not even mentioning it. As I said before, the orange roughy fishery is coming back because of good fisheries management. A problem occurred and good fisheries management puts it back together. But you will never hear that from the Greens political party. You will hear from them all of the lies and all of the misrepresentation of factsanything to pursue their whacky left-wing agenda that should be exposed to the people of Australia.

If it comes to proper management and proper science, do you believe the Professor Sainburys of the world, do you believe AFMA or do you believe a politician of the reputation of Senator Milne I know where I will go for my scienceand I know what the people of Australia will ultimately recognise about the Greens approach to these areas. All I can say is trust the scientists, look at the scientific approach to management of fisheries and go with the professional fisheries management people and you cannot go wrong.

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