A piece of good news today. Rather than risk polluting Perth’s clean beaches and precious waters, the company who owns the large oil lease north of Rottnest Island has decided to ‘time-out’ on their lease under the ‘use-it-0r-lose-it’ provisions of the act.
The move opens up the possibility of taking away the oil lease for good, and thus making the biodiversity rich area on Perth’s doorstep a new marine park with large marine sanctuaries, that will help to protect Perth’s marine life from overfishing and future oil drilling, and restore the ailing fish stocks in the region.
Values of the region include Perth’s marine playground and A-Class Nature Reserve Rottnest Island, and the Perth Canyon – one of only three places in Australia where the blue whale feeds.
The pressure is now on the Government to do the right thing and make the area a marine park rather than putting the controversial lease back out to tender.
The first test will be on April 11th when the Government will announce the 2011 acreage release at the annual APPEA conference. The second will be when the Government announces new marine parks for WA’s southwest region in late April.
The West Australian’s online coverage here.
If you want to join the campaign to protect Western Australia’s marine life hotspots, visit Save Our Marine Life at www.SaveOurMarineLife.org.au.