The Nature Conservation Council of NSW and National Parks Association of NSW have condemned the State government’s support for a moratorium of up to five years on new marine parks in NSW. The Marine Parks Amendment (Moratorium) Bill 2011 was passed in the NSW Legislative Council this afternoon.
Nature Conservation Council of NSW Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke said, “The State Government claims it is taking the politics out of marine parks, but their support today for a moratorium on new marine parks and sanctuaries is purely politically motivated.
“This latest move will raise serious questions about the State Government’s ability to independently respond and act on the findings of its independent review of marine parks
“The Government’s support today for a moratorium on new marine parks and any changes to their sanctuary zones is a pointless stunt, with no clear policy rationale.
“The State Government already has the power to decide if and when it will declare a new marine park or alter marine park boundaries or zonings,” he said.
National Parks Association of NSW Executive Officer Kevin Evans said, “Since it was elected, this government has weakened protection for the critically endangered Grey Nurse Shark and rolled back marine park zoning plans at Solitary Islands and Jervis Bay marine parks.
“The government support for a marine park moratorium today is far removed from their promises of a commonsense marine parks policy that is based on science, not politics,” he said.