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 at four locations in Batemans Marine Park have been reduced, with potential impacts on their effectiveness as safe havens and habitat for fish and other marine life. The locations are North Head, Congo South Beach and Mullimburra Point to Bingie Beach, Brou Beach and Bullengella Beach to Loader Beach.
Greens MLC and 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 the much-loved Batemans Marine Park 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 for local community which supports their local marine park and it’s a risk to the health of marine life and the industries that rely on healthy oceans.
“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, stop this wind backs of marine sanctuary protections and properly resource compliance in our park.
“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.
Media Release Office of Justin Field MLC Greens Member of the NSW Legislative Council