COALITION DUGONG AND TURTLE PROTECTION PLAN
( Editor’s Note:- This plan will be compromised by any approval for Abbot Point Port development, second shipping channel at Gladstone, Townsville dredging and more destruction of the Reef)
The dugongs and turtles along the Great Barrier Reef will receive greater protection under a $5 million plan.
The Coalition will implement a Dugong and Turtle Protection Plan which will work to protect the majestic dugong and turtle populations of Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait Islands from the threats of poaching, illegal hunting and marine debris.
As part of this important environmental and marine conservation task, the Coalition will provide $5 million for dugong and turtle protection, including:
• $2 million for specialised Indigenous Ranger Programs for marine conservation along the Far North Queensland Coast and for strengthened enforcement and compliance;
• $2 million for an Australian Crime Commission investigation into the practice of illegal killing, poaching and transportation of turtle and dugong meat;
• $700,000 towards cleaning up marine debris along the Far North Queensland Coast, the Torres Strait Islands and in the Coral Sea. Marine debris – especially ‘ghost nets’ – provide significant risks to dugongs and turtles; and
• $300,000 to support the Cairns and Fitzroy Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centres.
Within six months a Coalition Government will also:
• introduce Federal legislation tripling the penalties for poaching and illegal transportation of turtle and dugong meat;
• establish a National Dugong and Turtle Protection Plan through the threatened species process; and
• work with Indigenous leaders towards an initial two-year moratorium on the taking of dugongs.