In Parliament I spoke against the disgraceful Shooters and Fishers Marine Parks Amendment (Moratorium) Bill, which puts a five-year moratorium on new marine parks and sanctuary zones while another scientific audit is done.
Marine parks already have proven biodiversity benefits. They are established with extensive stakeholder and community consultation and $1 million a year is spent on scientific evaluation. Just two years ago an Independent Review Panel assessed the framework and was satisfied with the science.
The future of NSW waters is dire with 45 aquatic species and communities under threat and eight key commercial fish species overfished. It has been widely reported that without protection the world's commercial fisheries will collapse by 2048.
I understand some anglers are concerned that marine parks take away some of their favourite fishing spots but they are vital for future marine sustainability. I told Parliament that as leaders we must make difficult decisions to protect the long term fishing industry and our food supply and we should educate the fishing community not pander to their fears for political gain.
I understand from environment groups that the NSW Government is the only government in the world voting to remove and not expand marine protection.