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The Coalition's policy for a more competitive and sustainable fisheries sector



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JOINT PRESS RELEASE

THE HON. TONY ABBOTT MHR, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION THE HON. GREG HUNT MHR, SHADOW MINISTER FOR CLIMATE ACTION, ENVIRONMENT AND HERITAGE SENATOR THE HON. RICHARD COLBECK, SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY

SECRETARY FOR FISHERIES AND FORESTRY

THE COALITION’S POLICY FOR A MORE COMPETITIVE AND SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES SECTOR

A Coalition government will restore confidence in the Australian fishing industry by returning scientific and commercial rigour to decision making about Marine Protected Areas.

If elected, the Coalition will suspend and review the flawed Management Plans for Marine Protected Areas that have been imposed without fair, adequate or thoughtful consultation.

Fishing is a major industry and Australia needs a balanced and informed approach to fisheries management.

We know that the biggest supporter of environmentally responsible fishing practices is the fishing industry - because they do not want to harm the very environment that is providing them with a living.

Australians aren’t just proud fishers, they are smart fishers - and they know that Labor’s marine park lockouts are about managing the Greens, not managing the environment.

A sustainable fishing industry is an integral part of a strong primary producing sector.

The Coalition is committed to supporting the Rural Research and Development Corporations with greater funding to deliver cutting edge technology, continued applied research, and an increased emphasis on collaborative innovation and extension.

The Coalition will boost confidence in the Australian fishing industry. We will:

 Scrap the carbon tax.  Immediately suspend and review the flawed Management Plans for Marine Protected Areas imposed without fair or adequate consultation.  Require peer reviewed scientific evidence of threats to marine diversity within the Marine Protected

Areas to be made publicly available.  Establish a Bioregional Advisory Panel for each of the five marine bioregions.  Establish a National Recreational Fishing Council to improve lines of communication between

recreational fishers and government.  Cut red tape as part of the Coalition’s policy to cut $1 billion in red and green tape. Areas identified include streamlining of regulatory audits required under the Food Safety and Export Certification

(AQIS), harmonisation of regulations and simplification of regulations around management of introduced fish species.  Work with the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation Indigenous Reference Group to improve engagement with indigenous communities.  Conduct recreational fishing surveys every five years.

 Recognise OceanWatch as a Natural Resource Management Group with responsibility for enhancing fish habitats and improving water quality.  Provide $5 million to target invasive marine species with a view to the removal or eradication of these marine pests.  Fight illegal foreign fishing and ensure the ACV Ocean Protector and/or its replacement is provided

with sufficient funding.

The ‘lock-up’ mentality of Labor completely ignores the fact that Australia’s recreational and commercial fishers are dedicated to sustainability.

A Coalition government will help the fishing industry around Australia employ more people and grow by abolishing the carbon tax, lowering the company tax rate to 28.5 per cent and by introducing our Policy for Fisheries.

The Coalition’s Policy for A More Competitive and Sustainable Fisheries Sector is part of Our Real Solutions Plan to build a stronger Australia and a better future - for all Australians.

26 August 2013