Media Release Climate Change

New ministers have chance to turn the tide for our oceans

June 1, 2022

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) welcomes the new Albanese cabinet and looks forward to working with the next parliament to deliver for our oceans and wildlife.

AMCS, Australia’s charity dedicated to protecting the oceans, welcomes the appointments of The Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP as Minister for the Environment and Water, The Hon. Chris Bowen MP as the Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Senator Murray Watt as the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Senator Nita Green as Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef.

AMCS CEO Darren Kindleysides said: “We congratulate these politicians for their appointments to these critical roles in the Albanese ministry. 

“At a point where our oceans and wildlife face more threats than ever, there is so much critical and urgent work to be done by these ministers. 

“Australians want and expect our new government to do more, faster to protect our oceans and the wildlife and communities they support.

“Labor has been given a clear mandate by Australian voters to deliver more ambitious climate action and better protection for nature in this crucial term of government.  

“We look forward to working with the new ministers and the Labor government as we tackle the twin climate and extinction crises.” 

Mr Kindleysides said an urgent priority for the new ministry must be to release the long delayed State of the Environment report, which will detail how Australia’s incredible and unique nature has been faring since 2016 under increasing pressures from global heating, unsustainable development, pollution and poor fishing practices.

Mr Kindleysides said: “In that timeframe, we’ve seen ocean impacts like marine heatwaves drive profound changes to icons like the Great Barrier Reef and sensitive habitats like kelp forests.

“The new government must release and respond to the report to ensure it marks the low point for the deterioration of Australia’s natural environment, and the turning point guiding action in defining a healthier future for Australia’s oceans.” 

Notes to editors

During the election campaign, the Labor party committed to invest $1.2 billion to protect the Great Barrier Reef, including work to ensure a sustainable fishing industry. 

Their Oceans and Marine Parks policy, announced in May 2022, commits $4 million of funding to state and territory governments, like the Northern Territory, to better manage state marine parks and protect fisheries. 

Labor also committed to stronger laws for nature including the creation of a new independent Environment Protection Authority and a Native Species Fund.