Combined call for renewed marine parks consultation

THE Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF), the peak body representing Australia’s rec fishers, and the Commonwealth Fisheries Association (CFA) have called for genuine stakeholder consultation on Commonwealth Marine Park Plans.

The ARFF and CFA have repeatedly sought assurances from, and written to, Minister Burke asking for genuine stakeholder consultation on the important issue of Marine Park management plans.

Allan Hansard, Managing Director of ARFF says “We were disappointed when we received the Departmental response that effectively said they had received thousands of “tick and flick” emails and that this equalled a thorough consultation. It’s simply not good enough, for an issue that impacts on so many Australian recreational fishers.”

Trixi Madon, Chief Executive Officer of the CFA says that “The professional fishing industry was disappointed there had been no face-to-face stakeholder consultative meetings to explain the management plans or plan components still to be developed. We question how meaningful these consultative processes really are when they involve complex rules and regulations, and seek inputs from Australians living in all areas of the nation.”

The representative groups say there have not been any face-to-face stakeholder meetings or consultations about the management plans in any port or town around Australia.
ARFF and CFA both believe Minister Burke has been rushing the process to meet a political agenda which is no longer driven by the Greens.

Now that the Labor/Green alliance has been dissolved, Mr Hansard and Ms Madon have both called on Minister Burke to put things right, to return to core Labor Party values and to instigate a proper and genuine consultation process; one that involves face-to-face consultation with the stakeholders that will be directly affected by the Marine Park management plans.

The Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) is the newly formed national peak body representing Australia’s Recreational Fishing Community and is supported by the Australian Fishing Trade Association (AFTA), Recfish Australia, Game Fishing Association Australia (GFAA), Sunfish Queensland, Recfishwest, Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW (RFANSW), Underwater Skindivers and Fishermen’s Association (USFA), Australian National Sportfishing Association (ANSA), Professional Fishing Instructors and Guides Association (PFIGA), Victorian Recreational Fishing Peak Body Peak Body (VRFish), Australian Underwater Federation (AUF), Tasmanian Association for Recreational Fishing Inc (TARFish) and Keep Australia Fishing (KAF).

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