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Independents abandon anglers

THE keyfederal independents this week sided with Labor and the Greens to lockAustralia’s five million anglers out of iconic fishing areas.

Despitefurious lobbying efforts by rec fishing groups, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshottvoted against the marine park disallowance in Parliament on Tuesday night. Thefinal vote was 71-70.

But thelock-outs remain far from certain. In a move which has infuriated Greens andother anti-fishing groups, the Opposition has pledged to reverse the anglingbans if it wins power at the September 14 election.

Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation MDAllan Hansard said it was disappointing the disallowance failed but was adamantthe fight over fishing access was not finished.

“We’venow got a great deal of work to do before the election,” Hansard told Fisho today.

“We need to ensure theOpposition keeps focused on getting the bans wound back and we need to make theGovernment and independents aware that we are displeased with their anti-fishingstance.”

Fishounderstands angling organisations are now planning a series of high profilecampaigns in key marginal seats.

“Theorganisational changes that have occurred due to the marine parks campaignsover the past few years have seen the angling sector evolve into a potentpolitical force,” one leading fishing identity said today.

“Weare now going to direct all our energy and resources to influencing the outcomeof the federal poll. The fight has only just started. I hope the Governmentrealises they have awoken a sleeping giant.”

Recentpolls indicate federal Labor is facing an electoral wipeout on September 14.Green groups have already started lobbying the Coalition to move away from itspromise to reverse the fishing bans.

Staytuned to for more information andanalysis following the marine parks vote.





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