Marine Parks

19 Feb 2013 questionsarchive

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before directing a question to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation on the subject of the marine parks advertising campaign.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: The Labor government's marine parks sanctuary no-take zones advertising campaign package was launched at the start of February with a total cost of over $1 million. The centrepiece of this campaign is a TV ad featuring a young fisherman crabbing on the Port Noarlunga jetty, an act which is illegal at this site, not under the Marine Parks Act but actually through regulation under the Fisheries Management Act. My questions are:

1.How can this government claim any credibility on marine parks when it cannot even get the details right in a feelgood ad?

2.Given that the government's ad is advocating an illegal activity, will it be a defence to people who are caught in future that they were educated to do it because they saw it in an official government ad?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation) (14:27): I thank the honourable member for her most important question because it gives me the opportunity to once again extol the virtues of our marine parks and also the virtue of our education campaign.

The Hon. D.W. Ridgway: Answer the question.

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: So, the government—you'll get your answer, just hang on.

The PRESIDENT: He will once you—

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: You get to ask your questions in this place as you like—

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Mr Ridgway, the minister will answer the question.

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: —I get to answer them as I like.

Members interjecting:


The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: I'm not bound to please thee with my answer.

The PRESIDENT: Order! The minister will answer the question once you stop interrupting.

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: Possibly.

The PRESIDENT: Minister.

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: Thank you, Mr President, for your protection. They are a rowdy lot over there today. The government is committed to ensuring that marine parks will provide greater protection to South Australia's marine environment while minimising the impacts on our state's valuable commercial fishing industry. Minimal displacement of commercial fishing should also result in minimal effects on allied industries such as processors, exporters and transporters. The government's longstanding position has been to utilise the following sequential steps for managing our displaced effort: avoid displacement; redistribute effort; market-based buyouts; and a last resort option, compulsory acquisitions.

We also have consulted very heavily with the communities of our coastal towns and we have come up with a solution that has pleased almost everybody. We said initially that we would restrict the impact on our commercial fisheries to around a level of 5 per cent—well we have got it down to 1.7 per cent. By talking to our local communities and working very closely with them, we have got that impact right down to 1.7 per cent. That is how we work as a government; we work in consultation with communities, unlike those opposite.

With regard to the commercial the honourable member is asking about, the jetty concerned was being used as a backdrop for the film. I understand that some people have identified the jetty because they know it very well, and they saw on the TV a child holding a crab net. While fishing is allowed at the Noarlunga jetty, as the honourable member outlines, crabbing is not. However, the purpose of the commercial was to depict a typical family fishing situation.

The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink interjecting:

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: Did you see, anywhere on the ad, the Hon. Ms Lensink, a little notice saying, 'This applies to the Noarlunga jetty only'? Did you?

The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink interjecting:

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: No, you did not, because it is a generic TV ad to indicate a generic activity purpose. The commercial was not representing specific information about Port Noarlunga. The education campaign is about raising awareness, and I am sorry the Hon. Ms Lensink has not had her awareness raised. But, the fact that people are asking questions and seeking more information is a good thing; our campaign is working. Changes for recreational fishers are due to take effect in October 2014, so there is plenty of time for people to adjust and familiarise themselves with these changes.