Michelle Lensink

Marine Parks

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation a question on the marine parks campaign.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: On Friday 12 September, last Friday, the Liberal Party launched a website entitled Save Regional Jobs, which is www.saveregionaljobs.com. Within hours of the launch of this website, a rival website called Create Regional Jobs had been set up in opposition, with payments made to Google AdWords to divert internet traffic from the Save Regional Jobs website. My questions to the minister are:

1.Will he advise how this rival website was funded?

2.Can he guarantee that no taxpayer funds were used on this website and its extra costs?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation) ( 14:27 :12 ): I thank the honourable member for her most important question. I am not really sure what she is referring to; I will have to take her question on notice. As much as it sounds like an excellent website that the honourable member is asking a question about, I have no knowledge of it personally. In fact, I have very little knowledge about websites in general, but I have people who do that for me now.

There is very little I can do to enlighten the honourable member. I will take your direction on this, Mr President. There is very little I can say about issues dealing with marine parks while there is a bill in the other place at present, a bill that is setting out to destroy marine parks and sanctuary zones, a bill that was brought into parliament without any public consultation whatsoever, unlike the government's position.

The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink interjecting:

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: Well, there might have been public consultation, according to the Hon. Ms Lensink, but the people consulted with were only a very narrow few people and not the wider community, the overwhelming community numbers, who support sanctuary zones and marine parks, but they did not want to hear about it, nor did they talk to anybody with any scientific understanding about marine parks, about biodiversity, about the need to have marine parks, just like we have terrestrial parks. The Liberal Party in South Australia now, as well as federally, has no use for science. A scientist comes knocking on their door and they say, 'Nobody at home.'

They have no science minister—they got rid of that and got rid of the Climate Council. In fact, anybody with a scientific background who dares to tell the federal government, and indeed now the South Australian Liberal Party, that there are some facts they need to take into consideration when they construct their policy, the Liberal Party closes the door on them. They do not want to hear inconvenient truths. But this government, on the other hand, takes advice from eminent scientists, and we will continue to do so.

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