The NSW Government has given in to the Shooters and Fishers Party by permanently winding back protections at 10 ocean beaches and headlands in sanctuary zones across four marine parks in NSW.
The size of fully protected sanctuary zones in Cape Byron, Solitary Islands, Port Stephens-Great Lakes and Batemans marine parks have been reduced, with potential impacts on their effectiveness as safe havens and habitat for fish and other marine life.
NSW Greens Marine Spokesperson Justin Field said, “Nine months out from an uncertain State election, the NSW Liberal/National Government has given in to the Shooters and Fishers anti-marine park agenda, rather than taking a science-based approach to marine protection.
“The NSW Government is undermining the integrity of our marine parks and precious sanctuary zones at a time when our oceans and marine life have never been under more pressure from climate disruption, pollution, urban development and historical over-fishing.
“The wind back of sanctuary zone protections is a slap in the face to communities who support their local marine parks and a risk to the health of marine life and the industries that rely on healthy oceans.
“These areas need more protection, not less and the majority of the community is clear that they won’t accept reducing sanctuary protections and want improved enforcement local marine parks.
“I’m also concerned the NSW Government’s upcoming review of Solitary Islands and Batemans marine parks will be inappropriately used for further winding back sanctuary protections and undermining the integrity of our marine park network.
“I call on the NSW Government to stop playing politics with our marine park network, guarantee no wind backs of marine sanctuaries and properly resource compliance in our marine parks.
“If the Liberal/Nationals won’t do the right thing, Labor should commit to overturning the loss of protection at these 10 ocean beaches and headlands and expand the marine park network if they win Government in 2019,” he said.
📷: Coffs Coast Advocate