Sanctuary zones to be voted on again

MARINE PARKS: Eyre Peninsula fishermen may regain access to some of their most productive fishing zones when the state's opposition reintroduces the same Private Member's Bill from a year ago on October 15.
MARINE PARKS: Eyre Peninsula fishermen may regain access to some of their most productive fishing zones when the state's opposition reintroduces the same Private Member's Bill from a year ago on October 15.

EYRE Peninsula fishermen may regain access to some of their most productive fishing zones when the state's opposition reintroduces the same Private Member's Bill from a year ago on October 15.

The bill, put forward in October last year to change 12 of the state's 84 marine park sanctuary zones to habitat protection zones, lost by one vote and will now be voted on in the Lower House again.

Member for Flinders Peter Treloar said the opposition planned to reintroduce the exact same bill as last year in order to keep the government honest.

He said regional development minister Geoff Brock promised to undertake a review of the state's new sanctuary zone laws a year on and this reintroduction coincided with that review.

Mr Brock undertook three regional impact assessment statements over the last year as part of the review for Ceduna and the West Coast, Port Wakefield and Kangaroo Island.

The results from the impact statements, which were completed by independent researchers, were expected to be completed today.

"It's important to test the government, particularly after the impact statements have been released," Mr Treloar said.

"And also test the two independent ministers (Geoff Brock and Martin Hamilton-Smith) to find out how serious they are about jobs for South Australians and regional development."

The 12 zones that have been put up again for amendment include five specific to Eyre Peninsula fisheries.

The Nuyts Reef and Isle of St Francis sanctuary zones in the Nuyts Archipelago Marine Park near Ceduna, the Pearson Island zone in the Investigator Marine Park off the coast of Elliston and the North Neptune Islands zone south of Port Lincoln will all be listed in the Bill.

The Salt Creek zone in the Sir Joseph Banks Group near Tumby Bay is the only zone in the Bill that may be left out from last year's bill depending on how it has impacted the state's sardine industry in the last year.

Mr Treloar said the opposition supported the concept of marine parks however not to the extent they were carried out a year ago, due to the negative impact it had on local fishermen and businesses.

He said if the zones remained as they were they could be even more detrimental than the government expected.

"A couple of sectors, in particular abalone and rock lobster, were shut out of their most productive fishing grounds," he said.

"As both are quoted fisheries there has been a perverse outcome with greater effort on smaller areas and less productive grounds.

"The outcome could be counter to the original intention of the government."

Mr Treloar said the results from the impact statements were expected to be brought before parliament before the Bill was voted on again.

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