Greens to turn 30 per cent of ocean into Marine Park

THE Australian Greens have vowed to turn one third of Australia’s territorial waters into a marine park where fishing would be banned.

A report in the Herald Sun has said the Greens’ policy will be one of the party’s central planks of its campaign launch for the federal election. 

Greens leader Bob Brown, told the Sun he was not retiring and vowed to stay in politics while his party had the balance of power in the Senate.

The Greens’ marine park policy would turn a minimum of 30 per cent of Australian waters into no fishing zones.

“Australia needs a much greater area of our precious oceans protected through marine reserves,” Senator Brown said.

“Currently in Australia less than 5 per cent of our ocean waters are protected in marine reserves.”

In response, Queenland National Senator Ron Boswell told fishermen at a meeting in Brisbane that the stakes were suddenly much higher as a result of the Greens announcement.

Boswell said the recently announced preference swap between Labor and the Greens almost guarantees the Greens will hold the balance of power in the Senate from July next year.

“Peter Garrett and Julia Gillard have used the current marine park planning process to fish for green support using fishermen for bait,” Senator Boswell said.

“They’ve got what they wanted – and now they will give the Greens what they want.”

Senator Boswell said the only way commercial and recreational fishermen could avoid vast closures was to support the Coalition at the election.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott announced last week that a Coalition Government would put a freeze on the expansion of federal marine parks.

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