The last chance to halt the unnecessary lock-up of great swathes of Commonwealth waters began yesterday with the start of the final 60-day consultation period for a national network of marine parks.
"Tony Burke and Labor continue to be led by the Greens in this process, ignoring calls for any future marine parks to be based on peer-reviewed science and turning stakeholder consultations into a farce," Coalition Fisheries Spokesman Richard Colbeck said.
"Today marks the start of the last chance for fishing stakeholders and coastal communities to speak up and put a stop to the unnecessary lock-up of more than one-third of our Commonwealth waters.
"Australia's fisheries are among the best managed in the world but it seems Minister Burke is committed to doing the Greens' bidding and will push ahead with locking Australians out of Australia, and denying families and fishing businesses access to our abundant fish stocks.
"The annual assessment of our fish stocks shows they are already sustainable, healthy and productive and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority actively monitors and enforces fishery management controls. All of this is based on sound science.
"In contrast, the Government's proposed network of marine parks lacks any scientific foundation and is based on the demands of the Greens and environment groups.
"The Coalition is urging commercial and recreational fishing sectors and coastal communities to make the most of this 59 day consultation period and tell the Government that they do not want great swathes of Australia's productive and sustainably managed waters locked up," Senator Colbeck said.