The National Marine Reserve Network that was declared by Government last year has passed its first and most nail biting legislative hurdle, getting through the lower house of Federal Parliament 71 votes to 70 last night despite opposition from the Liberal and National parties. Support from rural independents Rob Oakshott and Tony Windsor ensured the successful passage of this legislation.
Now it needs to move on to the senate where the passage should be easier with more votes to spare.
The opposition from the Liberal party was disappointing given their past strong record on marine conservation. It extended to voting against the management plans for the South East region that was completed by the former Howard Government.
It was particularly disappointing to hear the terrible run of misinformation on the floor of Parliament from the anti-conservation extremists in the Coalition.
Coverage in The Australian here http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/oppn-could-unwind-marine-protection-burke/story-fn3dxiwe-1226657198822