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Calls for new marine parks outrageous.

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Senator Steve Fielding  Leader of Family First 


Family First Leader Senator Steve Fielding has labelled the Victorian National Parks Association’s (VPNA) demand for 20 new marine parks across the state as outrageous and a threat to recreational fishing in Victoria.

Senator Fielding was responding to the report release by the VNPA titled, Nature Conservation Review: Marine and Coastal Issues Paper, which calls for large sections of Victoria’s waters to be declared as marine parks.

“This is just another blatant attempt by the VNPA to lock up more of Victoria’s coastline and stop recreational fishers from doing what they enjoy,” Senator Fielding said.

“It’s not only recreational fishers who would be affected, people working in the commercial fishing and tourism sectors would suffer too under the VNPA’s proposal.

“Implementing this proposal would threaten the livelihood of many Victorians in the fishing industry and that’s obviously something which the Government needs to seriously take into account in its response to the report.

“Back in 2002, the Government settled this issue by passing the Marine Park Legislation, and there’s absolutely no reason to be revisiting this issue again eight years later.

“I have spoken to members of the recreational fishing community and they are up in arms by this outrageous proposal.

“Of course we need to be taking care of our marine ecosystem, but the VNPA’s call for a blanket ban on fishing in certain areas has totally overshot the mark.

“The Government needs to come out and make it clear that areas such as Western Port Bay, Gippsland Lakes, Mallacoota Inlet, Gabo Island and Bemm River are totally off limits to becoming no-take marine parks.

“I’m calling on all parties to reject this radical proposal and restore commonsense to the debate.”