Federal Ministers Tony Burke and Joe Ludwig have been caught up in their own hypocrisy, wreaking industry havoc in the name of the environment, while casting highly effective programs adrift.
Coalition Fisheries spokesman Senator Richard Colbeck said the Ministers had excelled when it came to showboating, but were nowhere to be found when they really could make a difference.
He was responding to news that funding was not secure for Ghostnets Australia beyond June. Ghostnets is a project which removes abandoned fishing nets from northern Australian waters and comes under the portfolio of Mr Burke, the Environment Minister.
Senator Colbeck will also pursue Fisheries Minister Mr Ludwig through Senate estimates over a clear lack of commitment to the Oceanwatch program. It had been highly effective in encouraging sustainable practices among commercial fishers and managing the region where the main impacts on the marine environment were occurring - the land-marine interface, our coastline and estuaries.
"Mr Burke and Mr Ludwig have presided over extraordinary damage to the Australian fishing industry and it's reputation over recent years," Senator Colbeck said.
"In the past 18 months, they have trashed Australia's world-class system of fisheries management - Tony Burke riding roughshod over systems he himself put in place and Joe Ludwig impotent when it came to providing support for industry.
"Then there has been the unscientific lock up of huge swathes of ocean by Tony Burke at the urging of fringe green groups, all at the expense of commercial and recreational fishers, without fair consultation or compensation.
"Yet, when it comes to real programs, delivering real results where it counts, they are nowhere to be found."
Senator Colbeck said it was a pattern of the Gillard Labor Government - quick with misguided, so-called "big ideas" but hopeless when it came to delivering practical policies and programs which do make a difference on the ground.