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Sunday, January 22, 2006

Federal Sacking Delivers More Uncertainty To Fisheries - Steven Kons, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Federal Sacking Delivers More Uncertainty To Fisheries - Steven Kons, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases:

Tasmanian Primary Industries Minister Steve Kons says news that Federal Fisheries and Forestry Minister Ian Macdonald is to lose his post only delivers further uncertainty to Tasmania's fishing industry.

Mr Kons said a planned visit by Senator Macdonald to Tasmania early this week, when he had planned to discuss the proposed Commonwealth Marine Protected Areas, presumably won't go ahead.

"That's a pity because we had some strong points to make about the ill considered reserves system.

"The changes would devastate many fisheries off the Tasmanian coast, particularly the resurgent scallop sector, which would be cut by up to 70 per cent.

"Some regional centres like St Helens and Strahan would be severely impacted and cities like Devonport and Hobart would also feel the effects."

Mr Kons said given the brief period allowed for public comment on the proposal any replacement for Senator Macdonald would be at a great disadvantage in trying to come up to speed with the issues.

"On the other hand I'm sure some fishermen would argue that as their Federal minister Senator Macdonald will be no great loss.

"After all he failed miserably in trying to represent industry views against arguements from the Environment branch.

"It's just another example of the green infiltration of Liberal thinking and how out of balance the Federal Government has become since winning control of the Senate.

"The anomaly of banning our sustainably managed scallop and rock lobster fishermen with their minimal impact methods from areas where the mining industry would be permitted to operate is breathtaking.

"We can only hope the new Fisheries and Forestry Minister is able to point this out at the highest levels before it's too late for our vital fisheries."

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