By Darren Kindleysides, CEO Australian Marine Conservation Society
Saturday’s Queensland election saw the Labor government returned with a majority.
While the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) is non-partisan, we do judge where the parties stand on the big issues facing the state’s coasts and marine life.
Our Election Scorecard shows there were marked differences between the main two parties on the issues we care and campaign about. We found that Labor’s commitments were ahead of the LNP’s in some key areas.
Better does not of course mean perfect. We’ll be making sure that the returned Labor government delivers on and goes further than their promises.
The noted “Green wave” among Brisbane voters acts as a reminder that climate and environmental concerns are issues the returning government must act on.
So, what does the election result mean for Queensland’s precious marine environment?
The crucial Reef water quality regulations we fought so hard for are safe. As are the land clearing laws. There has been some commitment to additional funding to help tackle Reef water pollution, and we will continue to push for more.
Investment in renewables will go further and faster. The state government will (finally) develop a Climate Action Plan to drive us towards Paris.
Recent progress on reforms means real momentum to drive forward sustainable fisheries in the state. Endangered Reef wildlife, like dugongs, turtles and dolphins, should get the protection they need from commercial fishing nets.
We will be pushing for the reviews of marine parks in the Great Sandy and Moreton Bay to be completed.
And long awaited laws to ban single-use plastics like straws, cutlery, plates and bowls have the support they need to pass.
I’m proud that the AMCS team and our wonderful, passionate supporters have helped achieve all these commitments.
The next four years of the Queensland government is going to be challenging as our climate and oceans continue to warm, putting more pressure on our Reef. However, through people power, the efforts of local communities and the work of organisations like AMCS the opportunities and potential for making real advances on Reef protection, renewables, sustainable fisheries and threatened marine species is huge.