Nationals candidate for Bonner, Ross Vasta says a Coalition government will restore confidence in the Australian fishing industry by returning scientific and commercial rigour to decision-making about Marine Protected Areas.


If elected, the Coalition will suspend and review the flawed Management Plans for Marine Protected Areas that have been imposed without adequate consultation, and will support the Rural Research and Development Corporations with greater funding to deliver cutting edge technology, continued applied research, and increased emphasis on collaborative innovation and extension.  


“Fishing is an important industry and Australia needs a balanced and informed approach to fisheries management,” Ross Vasta said.


“The Nationals understand the biggest supporter of environmentally responsible fishing practices is the fishing industry – they don’t want to harm the environment that provides them with a living.


“Australians know that Labor’s marine park lockouts are about trying to manage the Greens, not managing the environment. They have failed the fishing industry to hold on to power.


“A sustainable fishing industry is an integral part of a strong food production and export sector.  


“The ‘lock-up’ mentality of Labor completely ignores the fact that Australia’s recreational and commercial fishers are dedicated to sustainability,” he said.


The Coalition will boost confidence in the Australian fishing industry. We will:


·         Scrap the carbon tax.

·         Immediately suspend and review the flawed Management Plans for Marine Protected Areas imposed without fair or adequate consultation.

·         Require peer reviewed scientific evidence of threats to marine diversity within the Marine Protected Areas to be made publicly available.

·         Establish a Bioregional Advisory Panel for each of the five marine bioregions.

·         Establish a National Recreational Fishing Council to improve lines of communication between recreational fishers and government.

·         Cut red tape as part of the Coalition’s policy to cut $1 billion in red and green tape.  Areas identified include streamlining of regulatory audits required under the Food Safety and Export Certification (AQIS), harmonisation of regulations and simplification of regulations around management of introduced fish species.

·         Work with the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation Indigenous Reference Group to improve engagement with indigenous communities.

·         Conduct recreational fishing surveys every five years.

·         Recognise OceanWatch as a Natural Resource Management Group with responsibility for enhancing fish habitats and improving water quality.

·         Provide $5 million to target invasive marine species with a view to the removal or eradication of these marine pests.

·         Fight illegal foreign fishing and ensure the ACV Ocean Protector and/or its replacement is provided with sufficient funding. 

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