Abbott expected to "suspend" current marine parks process
Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:37 AM
This places marine parks as one of the key issues for the Coalition Government, which swept to power in a landslide election victory on the weekend.
Abbott, now Australia’s 28th PM, is expected to honour his promise to “suspend” the current marine parks process, which would have resulted in anglers being locked out of massive areas around the coastline.
While it is impossible to tell what the expert panel will end up recommending, Coalition insiders suggest marine park management under the Abbott regime will be more “flexible and common sense” than the hardline approach forced on the previous Labor government by anti-fishing extremists.
It is likely, insiders say, that the new Government would favour “protecting what needs protecting” but not necessarily banning fishing.
The Coalition’s approach to marine protection is likely to be a bitter pill for the various anti-fishing groups, which have long campaigned for no-compromise lockouts.
Based on what the Coalition has promised to do, it seems that the multi-million dollar anti-fishing campaigns funded by Pew and other foreign environment groups have largely failed.
While Coalition stalwarts like Ron Boswell, Richard Colbeck, George Christensen and Bob Baldwin have long supported anglers by opposing the marine lockout agenda, there seems little doubt that the campaigns run by the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation and Keep Australia Fishing also played a role in focusing the Coalition’s attention on the issue.
The success of the campaigns run by these groups is down to the efforts of Allan Hansard, an experienced political lobbyist and negotiator who took the reins of the tackle industry association little more than a year ago.
Most fishing pundits – myself included – openly acknowledge that we would have had a snowflake’s chance in hell of achieving any political traction had Hansard not taken up the cudgel on our behalf.
In my view, all Aussie fishos owe a huge debt of gratitude to Hansard. I’ve spent significant time with Allan for the past several months as we’ve wandered the halls of parliament meeting with MPs and bureaucrats on behalf of KAF and ARFF. He comes across as fairly unassuming but behind the mild mannered exterior he’s a sharp operator with finely tuned political skills.
All in all, I reckon we were bloody lucky to have him come along when he did …
An example of Hansard’s influence was the appearance of Tony Abbott at the AFTA trade show. Staged in the final weeks of the election campaign, having the then Opposition Leader at the annual trade show was a clear signal that the Coalition was listening to angler concerns. Abbott’s statement at AFTA that he would “suspend and review” the marine parks legislation, and his comments about how important recreational fishing is to the economy and society in general, can be seen as marking a new era in political recognition for the recreational fishing sector.
The fact is we’ve never before had a major political figure so openly and unequivocally support our sector. That fact that Abbott is now PM presents angling leaders with the opportunity to further engage with the federal Government in order to effect real and positive change for 5 million Aussie fishos.
Lest anyone think the fishing sector is now a stooge for the Coalition, let me make it clear that significant time and effort was made trying to engage with the Labor Party both before and during the election campaign. Unfortunately our numerous letters and invitations received no response. As the ALP now attempts to rebuild and refocus after what can be considered a devastating election loss, it can only be hoped that they will make the effort to rebuild ties with the recreational fishing sector. After all, it would surely be in their electoral benefit to do so.
While it seems that the Abbott Government has a clear mandate to enforce its stated marine park policies, it’s likely the Senate will pose some hurdles. Thus significant work remains to be done by Allan Hansard and his team to ensure the best interests of Aussie anglers are foremost in the minds of our new political leaders. http://www.fishingwo...ard-work-begins
Posted 11 September 2013 - 12:38 PM
Can someone tell me what is actually 'extremist' about a marine reserve?
Is every person who enjoys a national park today an 'extremist' for not allowing loggers to wreck the preserved forests within the park boundaries?
The political tone taken toward conservation efforts is completely ridiculous. Without conservation --like wildlife reserves and parks-- there would be no American buffalo alive today, no North American wolves, a wide assortment of other species would have been wiped out, and the Grand Canyon in the USA would be nothing but a series of dams and mining claims.
Some people prove to be so unbelievably stupid (whoever came up with the term 'anti-fishing extremist' included) it seems almost impossible that the human race has survived this long.
We know that it's possible to overfish and destroy fisheries -- to make species of fish commercially extinct.
We know that refuges for fish help fisheries to recover and improve the overall health of marine ecosystems.
So, what is 'extremist' about marine reserves? Nothing.
Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:44 PM
Posted 23 September 2013 - 05:16 AM
Posted 23 September 2013 - 05:17 AM