Marine park plan postponed
BERRIGAN Sporties Angling Club president Steve Malcolm has welcomed a five year moratorium on new marine parks or the expansion of existing sanctuary zones.
The bill, from the Shooters and Fishers Party, was first passed by the NSW Legislative Council.
Last week it was sponsored through NSW Parliament’s lower house by Northern Tablelands MP, Richard Torbay.
There were rumours circulating not so long ago that the former NSW Labor Government would look to make the Murray River a marine park.
‘‘I think it’s fantastic that finally there will be some proper scientific research into this issue of marine parks,’’ Mr Malcolm said.
‘‘So far the green groups have been pushing for anglers to be locked out of waterways with no credible evidence to support their claims of misuse or environmental problems.
‘‘As an avid fisherman and nature lover, I fully support protecting marine environments and promoting their growth, as long as the steps taken are backed by scientific evidence and good environmental and political policy.
‘‘Local angling clubs have been concerned for some time that our rivers and lakes would be turned into aquatic reserves similar to the state forests being changed to national parks.’’
‘‘It’s good to see the Shooters and Fishers Party striking a blow for the average person.’’
Shooters and Fishers Party MLC Robert Brown said he was confident the new government would provide the necessary funding for a proper scientific analysis of marine parks and the efficacy of sanctuary zones.
‘‘This science should have been done much earlier, before compliant Labor governments bowed to The Greens and made the declarations for purely political purposes.
‘‘It’s time The Greens were exposed for what they are.
‘‘They want to lock up land as well as water, without any regard for proper scientific management of either.’’
Mr Brown said that properly implemented, trial fishing in sanctuary zones would cause no harm.
‘‘Recreational fishers have been locked out of the best fishing spots at the behest of the Greens.
‘‘The Greens no longer hold sway over the government, and I hope that with the passage of our Bill, I expect the Shooters and Fishers Party will be able to clear the way for fishermen to return to the places the Greens took from them,’’ Mr Brown said.