Fishing lobby slams marine parks
THE nation's influential fishing lobby, angry at the potential loss of long-time fishing grounds under the national network of marine parks, has stepped up its political campaigning against the Federal Government.
Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party chairman Rob Erskine said the announcement was the final nail in the coffin of regional and coastal communities around the country.
But he said the political impact could most keenly by felt in Queensland after the rampant LNP victory at the state level just months ago.
"I think people have simply had enough of these huge environmental announcements without the science to back it up," he said.
"As the fishing party, we are happy for some zoning to apply if it can't be managed through sustainable fishing, but we not happy with it if there's no peer-reviewed reputable science backing the decision."
Mr Erskine said that while many people thought it would only impact commercial fishing, many recreational fishermen and their families were already "throwing their hands up in the air and going to play golf".
"But the fishing vote is a very big vote, and I don't think at a federal level they realise that yet - this is going to be felt in the margins around the country," he said.
Former Katter's Australian party candidate for Keppel, Luke Hargreaves, said the marine park deal was built for the inner-city Green vote, and those in regional areas would be able use the fishing vote to drive a wedge into the two-party preferred vote.
Mr Hargreaves said he would not be standing himself in the federal election, but would remain involved in the party.