Marine Parks consultation must improve

07 Jan 2010 archivemedia

The long-overdue announcement of advisory groups to the State Government’s controversial Marine Parks networks has done little to alleviate the fears of industry members who are being ignored in the planning process.

Shadow Agriculture, Food & Fisheries Minister Adrian Pederick and Shadow Minister for the Environment and Conservation Michelle Lensink have listened to fishing industry concerns grow throughout the drawn-out process to establish the proposed network.

“The announcement of 13 local advisory groups this week is certainly overdue, and an encouraging step, but for those on the ground there has been a lack of communication,” Mr Pederick said.

“Members of both the commercial and recreational fishing sectors want to know, is this another sham announcement or will it actually amount to something?”

Mrs Lensink met with members of the Marine Parks Management Alliance, which includes representatives of the rock lobster, marine scalefish, abalone, sardine, blue crab and prawn industries, who are at their wit’s end with the marine parks process.

“The various industry peaks want meaningful consultation at each stage of the process, where their views and experiences are taken into consideration when zoning and boundaries are being formulated,” Mrs Lensink said.

“Members of the South Australian Marine Parks Management Alliance believe that details of the displaced efforts regulations were to be made available to them, this has not happened.

“Above all else, they feel that the future holds many unknowns for them. They do not believe they have been consulted adequately and that the information that is now trickling through to them is not clear.”