The Australian Marine Alliance (AMA) with the support of key scientists and Australia’s largest players in the light marine, recreational fishing, boating, outboard engine, commercial fishing, seafood, aqua culture and manufacturing sectors, today released a first draft cost benefit analysis of the Marine Bio-Regional Planning Process (MBPP) that is destined to arbitrarily close large areas of marine environment with negligible environmental benefit but significant financial and social consequences for coastal communities.
Marine Parks - commercial fishing hangs in the balance.
Chief Executive of the AMA Mr Logan said today, 'The policy development process has been almost pathological in nature via the decommissioning of every process that delivered any level of scientific integrity.
'Whilst USA NGOs fund Australian scientists to argue - as Minister Burke does - that the MBPP is science driven, they sit by and actively support a process where stakeholders are pitted against each other in private meetings and asked to ‘colour in’ marine areas where they want access to the marine environment to remain.
'Moreover, as the Gillard Government asks coastal communities to stomach the MBPP outcome, they do so in the knowledge that of the 487,435 submissions received on the Coral Sea proposal alone, all but 1,000 were deemed by the Federal Department of Environment as computer generated campaign submissions from overseas.
'What’s ironic is that the solution is rather simple. Rather than lock up 45% of Australia’s marine environment why not manage 100% of it?'
Mr Logan concluded, 'The figures speak for themselves. 'In one breath the Gillard Government lock out Australian fisherman and destroy small businesses, and yet grant licenses to Dutch owned super trawlers.'
AMA estimates the marine park decision will cost $4.35 billion, 36,000 jobs and produce 'negligible environmental benefit'.
'Minister Burke will go down in history not as an Environment Minister who saved the environment at all, but an Environment Minister who horse traded the environment into an unenviable corner where everyone, including the environment, lost.'
READ THE FULL VERSION OF THE COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS AT