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Is sacking the oyster industry rep part of the rollback game strategy for Batemans Marine Park

The Beagle Editor, There has been discussion recently in local media about the government's decision to roll back sanctuary zones in the Batemans Marine Park. What also needs to be discussed is the worrying way the government is running consultation with the community. I am unhappy, along with other local oyster growers, that the government has shown a lack of serious consideration for oyster industry views. There is an advisory committee for the marine park made up of various local stakeholders, of which the aquaculture industry is one, and an important one.

However, the aquaculture representative was recently removed from the committee without any good reason. This was an injustice to the person concerned and deprives the oyster industry of a voice in this forum.

The actual issue was a minor email exchange around the qualifications needed for someone to chair the committee. There was no attempt to resolve the matter at the local level. It was sucked up into the head office bureaucracy where people with no knowledge of the local situation booted the oyster rep off. This was just one-sided victimisation, and the real issues weren't even addressed. This comes on top of the sanctuary zones roll-back where the oyster industry was not consulted, even though they have a direct interest. The local community needs to know what is going on in this advisory committee. The government should refer the sacking of our representative back to the committee so the matter can be sorted out locally. They should repair this injustice and give back to the oyster growers their voice on the committee. Kevin McAsh Clyde River Oyster Farmer

Above: Marine 'biodiversity' is the variety of animals, plants and habitats found in the marine estate and conserving marine biodiversity is a fundamental part of keeping the estuaries and oceans of NSW healthy and productive into the future.

Systems of marine protected areas are an important way of conserving marine biodiversity. Marine protected areas in NSW are part of national and international systems, including Australian marine parks.

Other important aspects of conserving marine biodiversity include marine pollution reduction programs, climate change responses, marine biosecurity, threatened species recovery, resource use and boating management, land-use planning and catchment management.

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