Marine Queensland today expressed extreme disappointment with the announcement of a marine reserve for the Coral Sea.
Proposed Coral Sea Heritage Park PEW
'The recreational and light commercial marine industry in Queensland has and continues to support the establishment of a sophisticated marine management and protection framework,' said Marine Queensland CEO, Don Jones.
'Unfortunately the process implemented by Environment Minister, Tony Burke, has been botched resulting in a poorly conceived outcome that will damage regional Queensland’s industry and communities while in reality affording no real protection to our marine environments.
'The real risks to our marine environments are pollution and impacts from climatic changes. At no stage has either recreational or commercial fishing been identified as a threat to our iconic waters.
'Unfortunately this very important process has been little more than a cheap political exercise aimed at creating monuments rather than providing real protection to our oceans and ensuring that the communities and industries that rely on these waters continue to be sustainable.
'To add insult to a poor outcome, the Minister now wants to develop management plans with little or no input from industry or regional communities.
'The deadline for the initial consultation is only four weeks away. How can the government possibly hope to have a comprehensive management plan for in excess of 1 million square kilometres of ocean in only four weeks?
'The impact of today’s decision will mean job losses, business closures, and negative impacts to regional communities with no measurable benefit to our oceans,' said Jones.
'Marine Queensland will continue to represent the views and interests of industry through this management plan development process.'
Marine Queensland is the state’s peak Marine Industry Body representing the needs and interests of Queensland’s Recreational and Light Commercial Marine Industries.
More at www.marineqld.com.au