Geelong Supertrawler Statement

Labor acknowledges the concerns of the community and the fishing industry regarding the Geelong Star.


I can assure you that Federal Labor will continue to pressure the Abbott Government to ensure that Australia’s precious marine resources are conserved.


When in government, Labor carefully looked after our oceans and those who used them. As a result, Australia’s fisheries are among the most sustainable and best managed in the world.


In government, Labor ensured appropriate consideration was given to the impact of super trawlers on Australia’s fisheries by amending the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act). Our amendment guaranteed Australia’s waters were adequately protected from risks associated with the use of super trawlers.


In September 2012, the then-Labor Government used these powers to ban the operation of the FV Margiris, known as the ‘super trawler', while an assessments of its impact was undertaken. We established an independent expert panel to provide an objective judgment of the environmental impacts of this trawling activity. 


The ban was opposed by Tony Abbott’s then-Opposition. 


To ensure that further bans are possible, in early 2014 Labor Senator Joe Ludwig introduced legislation into the Senate to remove the sunset clause. Under Labor's plan all future super trawlers could be thoroughly assessed using the most up-to-date science, thereby protecting our oceans and our recreational fishing spots. To date Tony Abbott's Government has refused to work with Labor on this important issue.