Shooters take aim at marine parks

The Shooters Party is proving to be an ally of concerned NSW fishos by proposing a ban on further extensions to the state’s marine parks.

The Shooters are also seeking a five-year moratorium on the declaration of more marine parks.

”Enough is enough, and if the Premier isn’t hearing the backlash from fishers up and down the coast, he has his head too far in the sand,” Shooters MLC Robert Brown said.

“We think that moving a Bill for a moratorium will send a clear message to the Government” he said.

This legislative moves come as the Shooters Party is locked in dispute with the State Government over the shooting of feral animals in national parks, legislation the Government is opposing. The Shooters are refusing to support Government legislation in the Legislative Council, effectively upsetting the Government’s legislative program.

The Greens have called on the Government to rule out supporting the latest proposed legislative changes. A spokesperson for Premier Nathan Rees, said the proposed legislation would be considered when tabled.

While Robert Brown had stated prior to yesterday’s Legislative Council meeting that he expected the Coalition would support the proposal, that may not be the case. 

Opposition spokesman on Industry, Duncan Gay, said the Coalition was unlikely to support the Shooters legislation on marine parks, ”in what is a very late entry into the debate to try and gain the fishing vote,” he said. 

When contacted regarding this issue Recfish Australia CEO Len Olyott told Fisho, “I think it may send the wrong message that recreational fishers are opposed to marine parks.” 

“This is not the case and Recfish Australia’s national policy (supported by all our member organisations) accepts the need for protected areas and recognises that they can be useful tools to protect biodiversity.”

Olyott said Recfish Australia opposes:

No take/no go zones (unless satisfied there is sound scientific justification);discrimination against any forms of recreational fishing and exclusion from areas and species that are available to other fishers; or any MPA which will impact on recreational fishing to protect species, elements of biodiversity or natural features that could be protected in areas where there would be less impact on recreational fishing.


“I can appreciate the frustration that fishers are feeling when we seem to make little progress and the anti-fishing movement continues to disseminate its propaganda. I suspect that the Honorable Mr Brown is responding to concerns raised in his electorate – that is the political process and we must respect that.” Olyott concluded.

Stay tuned for further updates.


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