Boating industry welcomes marine parks review

THE Boating Industries Alliance Australia has welcomed the Coalition’s Policy for a more competitive and sustainable fisheries sector, announced at the Australian Fishing Trade Association trade show this week.

In a statement, the BIAA says the Coalition has shown that the message of the joint BIAA and ARFF “I fish, I boat and I vote” campaign has been heard and will be acted upon.

Speaking ahead of the AFTA Trade Show Awards Dinner, BIAA Chairman Darren Vaux said “the boating industry has been calling for the process of marine park development to be transparent, to engage the community and most importantly to be based on science. The announcement by the Leader of the Opposition on Monday is very welcome news and will be well received by the boating industry and the five million Aussies who boat and fish every year”.

BIAA industry data suggests that over 80 per cent of boat owners have an intention to fish, with more than 850,000 boats registered in Australia, plus thousands more unpowered craft being used for the most popular recreational pastime in the country.

The BIAA says the announcement by the Coalition that, if elected, they will suspend and review the Management Plans for Marine Protected Areas provides boaters and fishers with renewed confidence about the future of fishing and will be a boost to the sector at the start of the Spring boating season.

The BIAA Policy “I boat and I vote” sets out six key policies that the boating industry and community believe will secure a future for the boating lifestyle enjoyed by one-in-five Australians. Implicit in this is full access to waterways, a status at threat under the current marine park zonings and supporting management plans.

Vaux concluded “we value the commitment made by Tony Abbott and we will ensure our boaters, right across the country, understand what this means to them when considering their options on 7 September. With this announcement, the Coalition has taken the first step in securing the votes of recreational fishers and boaters. We look forward to further announcements in support of recreational boating”.

BIAA is the national trade association for the boating industry in Australia, an industry which employs over 27,000 Australians, generating revenue of in excess of $8bn. Full details available at www.biaa.com.au.

The BIAA Policy is published in conjunction with the ARFF Recreational Fishing Charter under the campaign “I fish, I boat and I vote”. More details at www.fishboatvote.com.au and http://www.biaa.com.au/resources/IFish/IBV-policy-22July.pdf.


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