Marine park fiasco continues

Coalition Fisheries spokesman Senator Richard Colbeck has demanded an explanation for the break up of the division responsible for Australia's network of marine parks.

He said the change was premature and an unnecessary distraction.

"Environment Minister Tony Burke has just granted an extension to the marine parks public consultation period for people in flood-effected parts of the country," Senator Colbeck said.

"At the same time the department is writing to industry stakeholders informing them about this divisional break up and telling them that the process is complete.

"It's typical of this Minister - you can consult all you like but Tony Burke has already made up his mind."

It has been announced that the Commonwealth Marine Reserves Branch - which is responsible for the MPA process - would move under the responsibility of Parks Australia Division, effective from Monday.

Two other branches of the marine division will merge with the Heritage and Wildlife Division.

The letter says the change follows the completion of the marine bioregional planning program and the transition into management planning and implementation for the new Commonwealth marine reserves network.

"Just as happened so many times in the past, this industry has been dudded by Mr Burke again," Senator Colbeck said.

"As far as he is concerned, this process is already over."

150213 Marine park fiasco continues
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