FEDERAL Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch has described the network of marine parks announced by the Federal Government today as “dishonest” and a “huge blow” to the community.
“With absolutely no science behind it, the government is planning to lock up one third of Australia’s oceans – this is Green Zones revisited on steroids,” Mr Entsch said.
“It is another stab in the economic heart of Northern Queensland – Labor is sacrificing our economic future on the altar of the lunatic greens to buy a few votes in metropolitan areas.
“They have been influenced by one of the most emotive and dishonest campaigns that I’ve ever seen, driven by the American activist group PEW. They haven’t got the guts to stand up in their own country so they’ve gone looking for a government that is subservient to the Greens and they found one in Canberra.”
Mr Entsch has spoken to a number of local stakeholders who fear that the effective closure of the Coral Sea will break the back of what’s left of North Queensland’s fishing industry.
“It’s absolutely hypocritical,” he said. “This action will clearly generate billions of dollars in compensation paying Australian families not to fish and forcing them on the unemployment queue to the detriment of them and their communities.
“On one hand, the minister announced a marine park that is going to destroy much of the fishing industry while on the other hand he quietly gives permission for the world’s second largest trawl vessel, the 142m Margiris, to operate in Australian waters and take up to 18,000 tonnes of jack mackerel which will be frozen and sent to Africa and Asia.”
And recent Senate Estimates questioning revealed that the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities hasn’t even considered a management plan and has made no provision for the hundreds of millions in annual costs to provide appropriate management for this vast area.
“Locking up this area is the laziest form of conservation,” Mr Entsch said.
“Meanwhile, they’re kicking out the eyes and ears of these waters in the form of our fishing community. There should always only be one criterion in relation to resource management – whether fish or anything else and that’s ‘is it sustainable’.
“Australians will still eat seafood but we will now be forced to import it to meet demand, so it would appear that this minister has no problem with ripping the guts out of third world countries that produce their seafood in a totally unsustainable manner.”
Mr Entsch said today’s marine park proposal was just the latest blow to the region in line with the World Heritage listing for Cape York and the imminent introduction of the Carbon Tax.
“All these are designed to destroy our economic opportunities and drive us to our knees,” he said. “They talk about diversification then they destroy any industry that gives us that opportunity.
“I think they want to put us into the same category as Tasmania turn us into one big National Park so we can then bring out our begging bowls. This is a very expensive way to buy Green votes that will cost us dearly in the long run.”