The Nationals’ Senator Ron Boswell believes a Coral Sea ‘No Take’ zone is a very real threat after the Rudd Government’s successful proclamation of the Coral Sea Conservation Zone.
Speaking at a public meeting organised by those opposed to the proclamation Boswell said “An Eastern Marine Bioregional Plan will be declared in 2010 and it is important that the Coral Sea area is not singled out within that plan as a no take zone in order to satisfy the ever increasing avaricious appetite of the green movement.”
“This proclamation is a disgraceful abuse of power by the Minister for Environment who has unilaterally declared an area of nearly a million square kilometres of ocean as a conservation zone without any consultation with industry representatives at all.”
Boswell revealed there was no consultation with any industry stakeholder by either the Minister or his Department before the proclamation of the Coral Sea Conservation Zone on 19 May 2009.
“A response by the Minister to a Question on Notice (2122) revealed that only two meetings were held by the Department prior to the proclamation, one with the Australian Conservation Foundation (19/03/09) and the other with Pew Charitable Trust (14/04/09) only a month before the proclamation.”
“The employees of the fishing, charter boat, marine and tourism industries should be shuddering in their boots over this decision,” Boswell said.
“The astounding part is that this decision has even upset the Green movement with an obvious split growing between the Pew Charitable Trust who want the area declared a ‘no take’ zone and the WWF who think that a ‘no take’ zone goes too far.”
Senator Boswell warned that by separating the area the Minister has carte blanche to zone it however he wants.