Industry and stakeholders respond to Australian Marine Park Plan
Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke released the Government's final network of marine reserves which - once proclaimed under national environmental law - will increase the number of marine reserves from 27 to 60, expanding the national network to cover more than a third of Commonwealth waters.
The new marine reserves take the overall size of the Commonwealth marine reserves network to 3.1 million square kilometres, by far the largest representative network of marine protected areas in the world.
The commercial fishing sector has responded to the plan, expressing disappointment and concern about the scale of the new zones, no details of the compensation package - leaving entire communities in limbo - and the long-term effects on the broader marine industry.
Australian industry organisations have advised the public to express their own views to their local members and the office of Tony Burke and the Prime Minister, but Minister Burke already considers it case closed.
He said at the media event held at Sydney Aquarium yesterday: 'We now go through one final 60 day consultation period. It's too late for people to say I want this line shifted or I want this zone painted a different colour. The question now is very straight forward. Do we go ahead with the most comprehensive marine park network in the world or do we not?'
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