New Ministers welcomed by Australia's recreational fishers

ARFF - Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation
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Today, Tuesday 17th September 2013, the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) welcomed the appointment of Mr Barnaby Joyce as Minister for Agriculture, Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck as Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture and The Hon Greg Hunt as Minister for the Environment.

We were pleased that the Coalition promised to suspend and conduct a scientific review of the Marine Park process if elected. Now they have formed Government we look forward to working with Minister Joyce, Minister Hunt and Senator Colbeck to ensure this promise is delivered.

As part of the review process we look forward to working with the new Government to ensure there is genuine consultation with the recreational fishing community and that all decisions made in relation to marine reserves are transparent and underpinned by good science. This is the basis of good public policy. We expect nothing less and our unique marine environment deserves nothing less.

We will also be seeking discussions with the new Ministers on the formation of a Recreational Fishing Council. The Council will have an important role to play in establishing a recreational fishing Charter for Australia and ensuring there is efficient and effective engagement between Government Ministries and the recreational fishing community on key policy development areas, such as fisheries management, the marine environment, tourism, regional development, health and education.

There are five million recreational fishers in Australia that inject over $10 billion into rural and regional economies each year in order to go fishing. We make a considerable contribution to protecting and improving our marine and riverine environments and improve the wellbeing of our communities through fishing based education and health activities. It is pleasing that we are finally being recognized for the positive contribution we make.

We look forward to inviting Ministers Joyce and Hunt and Parliamentary Secretary Colbeck fishing in the near future.