Last Friday I had the opportunity to attend the 2012 Brisbane Boat Show where our federal opposition leader Mr Tony Abbott had the honour of officially opening the show. Although his appearance on centre stage was short and sweet, he did manage to point out that the Coalition has a very different view on the current governments’ stance on turning the waters offshore of Queensland into the world’s largest marine park.
It was refreshing to hear someone of his stature openly acknowledge that in his opinion commercial and recreational anglers were not environmental vandals. Mr Abbott believes the current governments approach to creating this marine park has floors and the new legislation has been formulated with minimal public consultation or scientific evidence.
Now I’m not one to push political points from either party. But I must say it’s very refreshing to learn that the Coalition will support a private member’s Bill from Member for Dawson George Christensen, to put on hold any proclamation on new conservation areas. Further to this, Mr Abbot proclaims that he and the Coalition support conservation and acknowledge that it has a fundamental role in sustaining the ocean life many of us are lucky enough to enjoy. Summing up, his party supports and will obtain independent scientific, economic and social analysis of the area before any final decisions regarding any new marine park are made.
This has to be a good thing doesn’t it? I’ve been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to explore some of the remote and not so remote areas that will be affected by the new proposed marine park zonings and I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to see these areas “closed off” from general recreational access and/or fishing. Being a keen “Fisho” I am all about sustainability, that’s why I believe sustainability of our ocean start right here – with us – and the education we give to our children. We can’t change what’s happened in the past but we can have an effect on what happens in the future. That’s why it’s so important we as a community need to educate and promote best practice principals to our children on the do’s and do not’s of what we should do in our oceans. This isn’t just all about fishing; it goes a lot further than that. It’s also about conservation, pollution and sustainable solutions so we develop a better world for our kids. I know I want my children to be able to enjoy everything our oceans have to offer just like I’ve experienced, and if we get this right, there’s no reason their children and their children’s children cannot share the same wonderful experience.
Let’s hope we, and the government, get this right…
Cheers and until next time.
National Sales Manager