by Jeni Bone
Marine Queensland and the BIAA are opposed to the Marine Park proposals. According to Don Jones, CEO of Marine Queensland the process for the development of an appropriate management regime has been 'a sham and driven by tokenism and green fundamentalism'.
Marine Park Zones
'This once in a lifetime opportunity should have focussed on the holistic management of Commonwealth waters to provide protection where necessary and to ensure that current and future risks are mitigated. Instead it has been about creation of token zones that do little if anything to provide the sophisticated management of Commonwealth waters.
'As a result of this direct negative impact will result on the marine industry along with other industries and regional communities. The other big loser from this process is the environment itself.'
In Queensland, the direct impact on the marine industry will be commercial fishers and their supply chains (the broader marine industry), marine tourism operators such as charter vessels and their supply chains, recreational sports fishers, retailers and service providers.
Jones revealed the BIAA and states have a campaign in the pipeline, targeting grass roots communities who will be adversely affected.
'A campaign has been on foot for some time,' he said. 'The difficulty has been participating in a flawed process that is constantly manipulated to achieve predetermined outcomes.'
The marine industry participated in the process, but is critical of its administration and outcomes.
'The industry participated in the process positively and in good faith, however the goal posts constantly changed at the direction of the Minister. It is clear that the extensive submissions made through the process were not considered seriously,' explained Jones, adding that the many legitimate issues raised with supporting data have largely been ignored.
'Major gaps continue to exist such as the absence of any management plans, the absence of any clearly articulated statement of risks and threats and measures proposed to address those threats, or structural adjustment arrangements to address the direct impacts of these proposals.'
For the public and industry who oppose the Marine Park Plan, Jones recommended getting in touch with politicians and the offices of the Environment Minister and the Prime Minister to voice their concerns.
'We need to stress the importance of holistically managed waters to this nation now and into the future,' said Jones.
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