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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

26 May 2005

Labor throws open Barrier Reef Marine Park fishing boundaries


Today in Federal Parliament, Labor Senator Jan McLucas admitted that a Federal Labor Government would tear up the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park regional fishing and conservation boundaries.

These boundaries were produced after months of extensive community consultation with the fishing industry, recreational fisherman, business people and citizens up and down the Queensland coast.

Labor went to the 2004 Federal Election signalling to Queensland coastal communities that the reef boundaries would alter under a Labor Government.

Today, Senator Jan McLucas refused my direct request to turn her back on this destructive policy and rule out changes to the boundaries.

Senator McLucas admitted Labor still had a policy of throwing Barrier Reef communities into confusion and dismay by redrawing the boundaries - removing some areas from fishing zones and adding other areas to recreation zones.

Senator Campbell: When were you going to review the boundaries?
Senator McLucas: In the review period that was described in the RAP ...
Senator Campbell (later): You said you were going to review the boundaries, I said I wasn't - there's the difference.

Senate Estimate hearing, Parliament House, Canberra 26 May 2005

The Howard Government through the Representative Areas Programme (RAP) process has provided certainty to all users of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and provided environment protection for 33 per cent.

To date the Howard Government has provided $37 million for structural adjustment for affected businesses. Labor's plan would put this whole process into chaos.

Labor must provide certainty today and announce the new boundaries in its plan.

Labor plans to wreck the RAP.

Media contacts:
Renae Stoikos (Minister Campbell's office)   02 6277 7640 or   0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia