Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch has again rallied behind the fishing industry in condemning the Labor-Green Government’s continued push to lock up the Coral Sea with the Bligh Government now signalling its support for the bans.
The Gillard Government’s recently released its draft marine bioregional plan to create a marine conservation park across more than 1 million square kilometres of the Coral Sea.
State Environment Minister Vicky Darling yesterday backed the Federal plan and went one step further by proposing to create a new marine park in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
“We saw the costly consequences for the fishing industry of the last closures in the Great Barrier Reef and now this Labor-Green Government is forging ahead with even bigger bans, all at the behest of a foreign environmental group PEW,” Mr Entsch said.
“Locking up huge areas of the sea is the worst possible type of management.
“The only criteria for all activities taking place in the Coral Sea should simply be sustainability.
“If a certain activity is not sustainable in a certain area, then it should not happen. These types of blanket bans are completely unnecessary and they will put livelihoods and lifestyle in jeopardy.”
Mr Entsch said all stakeholders, from commercial and recreational fishers to the tourism industry, must be involved in the sustainable management of the Coral Sea.
“All stakeholders agree that sustainability is absolutely needed to ensure the future of fishing, be it commercial or recreational, is viable.
“But unfortunately what you’ve got at the moment is a foreign organisation like PEW dictating to the Gillard Government that the Coral Sea must be locked up completely, without any consideration of current sustainable measures already undertaken by industry using the Coral Sea.
“We will continue to fight this despicable action and stop this cancer before it spreads even further.”
Mr Entsch urged concerned stakeholders to voice their anger at the proposed marine park closures during the Federal Government’s consultation period over coming months before it releases the final plan.