Environment

Brown welcomes Marine Parks Amendment Bill

SHOOTERS and Fishers Party MLC Robert Brown says recreational fishers are the winners from the Government’s Marine Parks Amendment (Moratorium) Bill 2013, tabled in Parliament last night.

Mr Brown said he was comfortable with the Government removing the moratorium imposed by his Bill enacted under the last Government.

“This Bill removes the moratorium on the alteration or creation of sanctuary zones within existing marine parks or reviewing marine-park zoning plans. It sets the framework for “real” planning for the long term future of our fisheries.

“I am delighted the Government adopted recommendations from the Select Committee Inquiry on Recreational Fishing, of which I was chairman.

“The repeal of the moratorium means the existing provisions will again allow the review of zoning plans for marine parks and allow action on the outcomes of these reviews”, he said.

“The Government has also heeded recommendations from the Report of the Independent Scientific Audit of Marine Parks in New South Wales, which supported a management framework for the entire “marine estate” and that such management should be based on a threat and risk assessment, backed by proper scientific research. For the first time in years we have a Government prepared to listen to the stakeholders in our recreational fishing industry rather than comply with the demands of “urban greens”.

“These changes are a good start to ensuring the long term viability of recreational fishing. However, I will continue pushing the Government to set up and properly fund a ‘stand alone’ body to oversee recreational fishing, much along the lines of the successful Game Council model for hunting in New South Wales, and also to create a recreational fishing haven in Sydney Harbour”, he said.

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