Marine Zoning Un-Australian Says Macdonald
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Northern and Remote Australia, Queensland Senator Ian Macdonald has thrown his support behind the commercial and recreational fishing industries in Queensland following the Government’s announced changes to marine zoning.
“The Government’s announcements are about votes and about appeasing the Greens in the hung Parliament . There is no local or industry knowledge, or any kind of scientific basis for these changes,” he said.
Senator Macdonald has this morning also expressed his dismay at Environment Minister Tony Burke’s evident lack of knowledge and understanding of marine industries.
“Mr Burke’s remark that “..no one goes out 400km to drop a line..” clearly shows how out of touch he is with the Australian electorate, the tourism industry and operations in the marine park. The North Queensland tourism industry has a thriving game fishing sector that operates principally in the Coral Sea.”
Senator Macdonald is calling on the Government to take a more balanced approach, and actually seek to engage with the communities and sectors that will be most impacted by the changes.
“Mr Burke’s inaccurate comments amply demonstrate that he has made no effective effort to engage with fishing industries and coastal communities. Consultation with the Australians most impacted by these changes is critical to minimise any harmful impacts,” he said.
Senator Macdonald counselled the Government to exercise caution in making changes that will place the economic burden firmly in the hands of one small sector of the economy.
“The Coalition supports protection of our oceans, indeed we introduced the first oceans policy in 1998, but the protection must be based on good science, and good governance. It would be un-Australian of us to burden the struggling commercial and recreational fishing industries with the full cost of implementing these changes.”