ANSA urges government to rethink marine parks

THE recent split between the Greens and the Government has given Labor the chance to restore balance to its Commonwealth marine park plans, says ANSA, the peak body representing Australian sportfishers.

“It is clear to us that the Greens had pressured Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke to implement extremist lock out policies in the development of these marine park plans” John Burgess, Executive Officer of ANSA, said today.

“Now the Greens have walked away from their deal with the Government, we are expecting Mr Burke to restore balance to the issue by re-thinking the unjustified lock out of Australia’s 5 million recreational fishers from the proposed marine parks”.

“We are ready and willing to immediately engage with Mr Burke and his Department to help formulate proactive policies that will protect our fragile marine environment while also allowing sustainable recreational fishing to continue.”

Current marine park plans being considered by Mr Burke would see recreational fishers locked out of 1.3 million square kilometres of Australia’s oceans for no justifiable reason.

“If that goes ahead, the Gillard Government would be responsible for the biggest angler lock out in history,” Mr Burgess said.

“We find it hard to believe that a Labor Government would want to deprive hard-working Australians of the chance to enjoy wetting a line and catching a feed for their families. In fact, we suspect the lock out agenda of the current marine park plans was forced on the Government via the deal with the Greens.

“Now the Greens have broken that deal, we are hoping that Mr Burke will want to talk with us about designing less extremist policies.

ANSA said the split with the Greens presented the Government with the opportunity to show their true colours when it comes to dealing with Australian recreational fishers. “Do they want to alienate us by locking us out or do they want to work with us?”

“The fact is that recreational fishers are dedicated to marine conservation. We just don’t want to be locked out for no good reason. Hopefully Mr Burke will now want to work with us to achieve balanced and effective marine parks that will benefit all Australians for generations to come.” ANSA’s John Burgess said.

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