According to Dean Logan, lobbyist for the recently formed Boating and Fishing Council of Australia – an alliance body representing rec fishing, boating and marine groups – last week’s meetings with Council members and Federal Ministers in Canberra proved “overwhelmingly positive.”
As reported by Fisho BFCA members had scheduled meetings late last week with Federal Ministers Tony Burke and Peter Garrett as well as senators from the Liberal and National parties.
Outlining the meeting outcomes Logan told Fisho: “We had twenty minute back to back meetings from nine to five.”
Logan said the main aim of the meetings was to “put the Council on the radar” of members of parliament, and importantly to “present a unified voice” to parliament.
The major issue of concern raised in these meetings was the Coral Sea conservation zone declaration. Logan says the BCFA voiced the view with the Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett and other members of parliament that the issue had already been dealt with under the bio-regional planning process and further protection declaration was unnecessary.
Logan seemed buoyed by Minister Garrett saying he “only made decisions based on empirical, scientific evidence” – of which there appears to be none to support the Coral Sea declaration.
Logan says the Council wants to make politicians aware that recreational fishos are not opposed to protecting Australia’s environment and waterways. He believes a system of co-management between government and the various stakeholder groups and regional communities is the best way forward for all concerned.
BFCA lobbyist Dean logan
The BFCA is now planning its way ahead on the Coral Sea issue, and how it deals with state-based issues – Logan says at this stage he believes future issues are likely to be dealt with on a case by case basis.
The next formal step in the Coral Sea saga is likely to come in late October when the issue is put to the Senate where it faces a possible disallowance motion.
The Boating and Fishing Council of Australia expects to launch its official website next month.