Michelle Lensink

Marine Parks 'Consultation' Farce

Rann Labor has yet again shown its complete failure to consult with the community on the implementation of marine parks in South Australia.

“The views of recreational anglers and commercial fishers have been ignored by a Rann Labor Government distracted and divided over their own political futures,” Shadow Minister for Environment and Conservation Michelle Lensink said today.

“Instead of concentrating on the implementation and management of sensible marine park boundaries, they are fighting amongst themselves.

“Sadly, this is what South Australians have come to expect of the Rann Labor Government – the word ‘consultation’ just isn’t in the vocabulary of Mr Rann and his Ministers.

“Commercial fishing operators right across SA have been very clear on where sanctuary zones would best be implemented, in order to protect the fishing industry.

“South Australia’s fisheries are amongst the best managed and sustainable in the world.

“They have always understood the importance of sustainability and protection of the natural marine environment, so they are quite rightly angered by Mr Rann arrogantly telling them what is best for them.

“The public meetings held right across SA have exposed the Labor’s marine parks program as ill-placed and heavy-handed.

“I’m calling on the Minister to treat stakeholders with the respect they deserve and to ensure that those communities affected will be properly consulted.

“At present, this is yet another case of ‘announce and defend’ when it comes to Marine Parks and regional communities being ignored.

“Also, the Minister still hasn’t outlined what will happen as a result of slashing $3 million over two years from the operating costs of marine parks.

“The State Liberals remain supportive of the sensible implementation and management of marine parks which will not hinder regional communities and South Australia generally.”

* 130 angry locals turned out at a public meeting in Sellicks Beach today to voice their concern over Labor’s consultation farce.

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