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Labor Ruffled At Byron Declaration

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PROTEST: Ken Thurlow (with sign) protests during Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald’s speech.

Marine park declaration angers fishers




IF STATE Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald expected a trouble-free visit to Byron Bay, he was mistaken.

The Minister was yesterday met by a group of 40 angry anglers as he declared the Cape Byron Marine Park zones in force, prohibiting fishing in some locals’ favourite spots.

Leading the protest was Northern Rivers Fisheries Conference chairman Ken Thurlow who heckled the Minister throughout his speech.

"Why do commercial fishermen get 50 per cent of the park and families get 0.1 per cent?" Mr Thurlow yelled.

The Minister replied: "That’s a gross exaggeration. It’s your view."

Mr Thurlow yelled again: "And you didn’t listen!"

"I listened to the broader community ... there’s overwhelming support for marine parks across New South Wales," the Minister replied.

The yelling continued until the Minister’s final remark: "You can yell and scream all you like Ken, but you cannot change it. You’re better off working with us."

After the speech Mr Thurlow shrugged his shoulders and said ‘only 11 months to wait until the next election’.

However, there was at least one marine park supporter who welcomed the Minister’s arrival.

Byron Shire mayor Jan Barham said the State Government had balanced the needs of the whole community in establishing the marine park zones.

"It’s clear not everyone’s happy, but I think the Government has delivered a fair outcome," she said.

nTHE NSW Marine Park Authority has created a zoning plan users’ guide. For a copy phone 66396200.

2nd story> http://www.northernstar.com.au/storyprint....storyID=3682486

LINES CAST: Ken Smith (left) and Ken Thurlow out fishing before the Marine Park becomes official today. Picture: COLLEEN BACON

Anglers threaten marin park 'no-go' revolt




ANGLERS are risking fines of up to $11,000 by threatening to ignore new Cape Byron Marine Park rules which come into effect today.

Northern Rivers Fisheries Conference chairman Ken Thurlow said most anglers would ignore the rules.

"The recreational fishers I represent say they will take no notice whatsoever," he said.

NSW Primary Industries Minister Ian McDonald will officially announce the commencement of the new zones this morning at the Cape Byron lighthouse.

The marine park has been divided into seven different zones, including sanctuary zones where no fishing is permitted.

The largest single sanctuary zone covers 3.6km of Tyagarah Beach, offshore waters of Tyagarah Beach, Julian Rocks, Cape Byron and a small area east of the cape.

Marine park manager Andrew Page said anglers caught disobeying the new regulations would be given a warning in the first few weeks of the changes.

"There will be staff out (from today) to inform people about what you can and can’t do," he said.

"We will adopt an advisory approach at first, but if people are caught repeatedly disobeying the rules, they will be fined."

Anglers caught fishing in sanctuary zones face $500 on-the-spot fines and a maximum penalty of $11,000.

However, Mr Page said he did not expect any massive problems with the introduction of the new zones.

"Recreational fishing and collecting can be undertaken in most places, but anyone wishing to fish or collect in the Marine Park should check whether the activity is permissible," he said.

Angler Ken Smith fears members of the Byron Bay Deep Sea Fishing Club have cast their last lines together.

The Ewingsdale-based club president said the park zones could mean the loss of the club’s 50 members.

"The fact is we’ll have to go elsewhere, outside of the region, if we want to catch fish," he said.

"What they’ve given us is desert. We can’t fish on the reef near Julian Rocks any more and the next closest reef is too far out for members with small boats to get to."

Recreational fishing will be permitted at one spot on the western side of Julian Rocks between January and April, but Mr Smith said that was not long enough for his club members.

Environmental groups and the State Government have applauded the creation of the park, which covers an area of 22,000ha from Brunswick Heads to Lennox Head.

Detailed maps and copies of the regulations are available from the Cape Byron Marine Park Information Centre on 6639 6200, online at www.mpa.nsw.gov.au and from outlets that sell recreational fishing licences.

Bob Smith


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You would have to say that unfortunately just having 40 protesters wont even raise an eyebrow as far as opposing the park goes.

Its not hard to see why the local council says its a balance view. From previous reports literally thousands of locals opposed the park and signed petitions etc. Where were they ?

You would think that if there was serious opposition to this marine park a hell of a lot more people needed to be their.

Perhaps this lack of opposition just makes putting these parks in place all that much easier.

Its a scary sign of things to come and a warning that we as anglers need to get more involved in opposing these parks if we are serious about rec fishing and its future.

My opinion is that Macdonald probably left there thinking he got off easy. Good on Ken for sticking it too him though !

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