THE fishing and recreational boat industries came out in force yesterday in Brisbane to protest against plans by the Commonwealth to ban or restrict fishing in a large section of Queensland’s Coral Sea.
Queensland LNP Senator Sue Boyce, who chaired the rally, told the crowd that the Gillard government’s proposals would be a disaster for the thousands of Queenslanders whose livelihoods depend on the fishing and marine industry.
“The public and the industry have been deceived by this government. Many people in the fishing industry have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in licenses, new environmentally sustainable equipment and practices to be now told they may not be able to fish at all.” Senator Boyce said.
“The proposed Coral sea Marine Park will be over half the size of Queensland itself. It’s almost eight times the international benchmark and under this plan more Queensland waters will be locked up in marine park areas than anywhere else in the world.”
“In the Senate last week the Greens and the Labor Party voted down a motion calling on the Government to undertake a scientific evaluation of their plans for massive new marine parks before locking up the Coral Sea. They clearly have no scientific evidence to support their plans; they are just doing the bidding of the Greens to stay in power.”
“The Gillard government has acknowledged that the Coral Sea has not been affected by fishing and yet they plan to lock it up despite the world’s biggest tuna fishery being right at our doorstep,” the Senator concluded.
Liberal National Senator Sue Boyce (right) and Senator Ron Boswell address yesterday’s rally.