BIAA: Marine Reserves plan flawed and invalid

THE Australian peak boating body, the Boating Industries Alliance Australia, has called on the Federal Government to explain why the creation of over 40 new marine parks, encircling the nation, is required to protect the marine environment and to demonstrate a sincere commitment to consulting with the Australian population on its plans.

BIAA General Manager Nik Parker said in a statement released today, “There is no scientific evidence to support the marine reserve system as planned, as acknowledged by Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke.”

“The plans announced this week seek only to placate the environmental movement, led by
international lobby groups intent on controlling Australians’ everyday life.

“The announcement contains no plans on how to manage the great swathes of ocean soon to be declared off-limits to Australians and no explanation of how any measure of benefit of this action will be determined,” said Parker.

According to the BIAA, much has been made of the over 485,000 submissions lodged following consultation on plans for the Coral Sea marine reserve network, but without acknowledging that more than 98 per cent of these were template submissions from environment lobbyists, with an undetermined number from faceless overseas activists.

“But now, the Australian population – and even the international lobby – is to be denied the opportunity to review and comment on the plans the Minister has released,” said Parker, adding “only the option of supporting or not supporting the Minister’s plans is permitted – his own statement declares there will be no negotiation and even concludes that the marine reserve network is expected to be declared by the end of the year”.

“This is not consultation, this is a misuse of power and will lead to disastrous results for Australian communities, businesses, recreation and everyday life” said Parker.

“The plans have changed dramatically since we last saw them publicly, and we have no explanation as to how the new areas, swallowed up by green-zoned marine parks, have been determined. The only option we have is to vote ‘no’. We have tried to negotiate throughout this lengthy process but now have been told our advice is not required,” he added.

The BIAA is now calling on the Federal Government to embark on another round of full public consultation to ensure the views of all stakeholder groups can be considered. 

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