Marine park meetings condemned

LOCAL communities in South Australia will be left out of discussions on 19 proposed marine parks, the state’s Opposition says. This follows the SA Government’s decision last year to delay the release of draft sanctuary zones to allow for more community consultation. Legislation was introduced in 2007 to protect parts of South Australia’s coast and create no-take zones for anglers.

Representatives from the conservation and fishing sectors will meet with the Government this week for more talks.

According to the ABC, Opposition environment and conservation spokesman, Steven Marshall, says local governments and the advisory council have not been invited.

He says the Government has handpicked meeting attendees to prevent a backlash.

“We’ve got a very select group who are going to be deciding on the final draft for the sanctuary zones here in South Australia,” he said.

“There is a small group of stakeholders who are going to make the decision, not the local advisory groups that were set up to look at this issue, not the local government, they’ve been excluded from this.

“The local advisory groups have taken into account all of the local conditions. They’ve put their submissions into the Government, the Government’s had them for a year but no feedback has been given.”

Marshall says the Opposition supports no-take zones but wants to ensure anglers’ livelihoods are protected.

Environment Minister Paul Caica says the Government will continue to consider the advice provided by the local advisory groups.

He says draft management plans will be released for full public consultation later in the year.

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