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Marine Park Public Meeting Batemans Bay & Narooma

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Public Meetings have been arranged for Batemans Bay 24th and Narooma 25th Jan as per Media Release below.

Bob Smith and TFP Environmental Officer Paul Hennelly will be attending and lending support. I intend to have a short speak at both on my Marine Park Sanctuary Zone research and introduce TFP campaigns. TFP will also be available before and after for any interested persons to have a chat about our NSW election strategy and direction. TFP is seeking candidates in all coastal Labor held NSW electorates. Enough is enough.


Monday 16-1-2006

Public meetings - "The Impacts and Implications of marine parks”

Concerned local fishers in conjunction with state wide conservation organisation, $%^&*, have called public meetings in Bateman's Bay and Narooma to explore the social and economic implications and likely impacts of Bateman’s Marine Park. These issues are of great interest to fishers, outdoor Australians and the businesses that depend on them.

The meeting will be held at 6.30pm on Tuesday 24-1-06 in the auditorium of the Bateman’s Bay Bowling Club. A second meeting has been arranged in Narooma at 5 pm on Wednesday 25-1-06 at the Sporting and Services Club.

Keynote speaker will be marine conservationist, Ken Thurlow, who is the Chairman of the Northern Rivers Fisheries Conference and a member of the Cape Byron Marine Park Advisory Committee. Ken has extensive experience with marine parks and the Marine Park Authority. He has a sound understanding of the underlying scientific issues.

"Spin from the government would have the community believe that these marine parks are for multiple use. Nothing could be further from the truth.” Ken Thurlow said today. “Once they are zoned, they are literally restricted use and restricted access parks."

Mr Thurlow believes we can still have marine parks to protect the biodiversity, but they should be accessible to all, with conservation through sustainable use.

“While there is great disagreement among marine scientists the world over concerning the value of marine parks, one thing is for certain. They are not for managing the fisheries.” he said "There is no scientific justification whatsoever for locking the community out and these decisions are being based on extreme ideological grounds."

The Marine Park Authority typically selects areas of high marine biodiversity for large no take zones despite research that shows that line fishing has little or no impact. These are the same areas that are of most use to line fishers.

$%^&* spokesman, Rod Burston, said that recent zoning of the Cape Byron Marine Park was a disaster. The local community has refused to support the park because their contributions were ignored when the zoning plan was drawn up. Consequently, they have no ownership of the park.

“The Environment Minister, Bob Debus, said that Cape Byron will be the model for other marine parks. This is sad news for local iconic fishing spots like Montague Island and the Toll Gates.”

“We are calling this meeting to fully explore all of the issues. After all, this is the community's park and the aim of the meeting is to keep it that way.”

Rod Burston


Bob Smith :1fishing1:

TFP Chairman

Supporting $%^&*

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a copied report from Phil (the chairman of the Narooma meeting)

Firstly, and I mean FIRSTLY, a very big thanks to Rod Burston for co-ordinating the speakers from $%^&* and making that aspect of it go seamlessly for me.

Secondly a very big thanks to Jon Jenkins (MLC), Robert Smith and Ken Thurlow for excellent speeches on the night. Both at the BB meeting (I sat up the back) and the Narooma meeting.

All the speakers were entertaining, which is a most important aspect of the whole exercise, as none of the audience lost interest and drifted off. It's all very well to present half baked ideas and present statistics by the score, but these guys were concise and precise. In particular Ken Thurlow gave an entertaing and informative speech.

I have done a LOT of research, and it was interesting to see the NPWS speakers present "science" that one can readily see on the Nature Conservation Council web site. Having seen it there, ie. "spill-over", "bigger better fish" etc., etc. it was good to see it shot down in an open forum, AT LAST.

I have heard reports of between 500 and 650 at BB, and about 200 - 220 for Narooma. A report appeared on the news (WIN 4 ??) that night and a friend (a non-fisherman) from Bowral rang to say he saw it, and how the pollies were on, but it was still well covered!!

So what was the mood of Naroomas meeting. Well for starters it wasn't as rowdy as BB's at the end (smaller size, less grog ). In our audience we had quite a few from the Narooma Sport and Game Fishing club, some divers, tackle store owners and some commercial trap and line fishermen, as well as the "usual" recreational fishermen. The meeting was pretty free of interjections so it ran smoothly.

So this is the report.

Meeting held Wednesday 25th January 2006, Narooma Services club

In attendance

Mr. Tim Shepherd, representing MPA, but uis actually Far South Coast Manager of NPWS

Mr. Dene Moore, representing Eurobodalla Council, Mayor was at an Australia Day function.

Mr. Robert Smith, President NSWFCA and Chairman The Fishing Party

Prof Jon Jenkins, Outdoor Recreation Party, MLC

Mr. Ken Thurlow, Chariman of Northern Fisheries Conference

The Hon Duncan Gay - MLC, Shadow Min, for resources and PI

Mr. Andrew Constance - our local member


* Because Marine Parks answers to 3 Government departments - Premier's (main one involved because this was a pet project of Premier Carr at the time), Primary Industries (Fisheries) and Dept. of Conservation (NPWS) there is a LOT OF CONFUSION as to who answers to what and whom.

* What is the REAL purpose of the Marine Park. In both Batemans Bay, and Narooma the overwhelming feeling was that there was a preference deal for GREEN votes on the agenda.


* Many issues related to fish stocks and fish habitat protection are able to be handled by Dept. of Fisheries. Ie. whta happened in Sydney Harbour with dioxin fish. Is the declaring of these Marine Parks a "slap in the face" for NSW Fisheries Minister McDonald for incompetent performance.

* Economic benefits that are touted by Government and Conservation groups are illusory, and incompotently so, as the NCC believes that there are 800,000 scuba divers in NSW alone (real figure is 10K). See their Marine Portal, under "activities", "scuba diving". The NCC base their entire "economic" argument on the increase in dive tourism because there are no pesky fishermen around.

* What is the Scientific proof that sanctuary zones protect habitat and biodiversity. A lot of the "pro-marine sanctuary" work was done in the 90's into 2000. Afterwards, once the effects werte seen of these "no take" zones there has appeared a significant amount of research querying the true picture of no take zones. A lot of the pro marine park debate at the IUCN level is what happens on a macro scale, ie. Tuna, gemfish and so on. Marine Parks as have been declared off the NSW/Vic border in Commonwealth waters are on a macro scale.

* Marine Science is nowhere near as advanced as Agricultural Science, because of funding, numbers of scientists doing pure research and just the physical difference between the Tarrestrial and aquatic environment. However the NCC, NPA and Wilderness Society would have us believe that the evidence is always "unequivocal"

Mr Constance and The Hon Duncan Gay made a committment to pressure the Labor Government to:

1. Put off the declaration (April 2006) of the Marine Park until 2007, and make it an election issue.

2. Do a proper socio-economic study prior to the declaration.

3. Perform a proper Biodiversity report for our region, as the current one has not found the other (well known to divers) Grey Nurse habitat sites on the mainland of our coastline within the Batemans bioregion.

4. If the Government gazettes the Marine Park in the lower house to have it disallowed in the upper house, within 14 days.

5. If (when!!) they gain power in May 2007 they will move to disallow the 2 Marine Parks and/or modify the zoning of any/all of them when appropraite.

For a full text of Bob Smiths presentation see the following link


Bob Smith

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