Labor releases comprehensive Marine Conservation Policy – Six point plan to protect our oceans, waterways and marine life


NSW Shadow Environment Minister Luke Foley today announced that a Labor Government will implement a comprehensive plan to protect the State’s oceans, waterways and marine life – and reverse the backwards steps the NSW Liberal/National Government has taken in just three and a half years.

Releasing Labor’s Marine Conservation Policy at the Nature Conservation Council’s annual conference today, Mr Foley outlined a six point plan to protect our State’s fragile marine environment.


“Labor is committed to protecting our marine environment – so that its precious beauty and diversity can be enjoyed by future generations, and our unique marine life can flourish,” Mr Foley said.

A Labor Government will:

  1. Establish a dedicated Sydney Marine Park to protect the jewel in Sydney’s crown, the world renowned Sydney Harbour;
  2. Lift the Liberal/National Government’s moratorium on the creation of any new marine parks;
  3. Return marine sanctuary zones to full protection, so they again become areas where wildlife and habitats are protected;
  4. Prioritise protection of breeding areas such as the islands, headlands and beaches where seabirds nest and raise their young;
  5. Ask the NSW Scientific Committee to consider the addition of the hawksbill sea turtle to the State’s Threatened Species List, to give this rare and beautiful creature the protection it deserves; and
  6. Immediately reinstate protections on the state’s Mid North Coast for the labrador of the ocean  - the critically endangered Grey Nurse Shark.

“The world’s oceans have changed more in the last 30 years than in all of prior human history,” Mr Foley said.

“The world’s oceans have lost 75 per cent of their megafauna – large creatures such as whales, dolphins, sharks, rays and turtles. And worldwide fish populations are also in crisis.”

“When last in office, Labor put in place strong measures to conserve the marine environment. These included creating a network of six multiple use marine parks, covering around one third of the NSW marine estate, and enacting strong laws to protect whales, dolphins and other marine mammals,” Mr Foley said.

“Today I am proud to announce that the next Labor Government will build on this legacy – in clear contrast to the Liberals and Nationals hostility to marine conservation.”