Big ?no? topark zones

Ken Thurlow on Monday with the 5000-plus submissions ready to be presented to the Ma- rine Parks Authority
Ken Thurlow on Monday with the 5000-plus submissions ready to be presented to the Ma- rine Parks Authority

More than 5000 submissions handed to authorityA massive 5000 submissions opposing the Cape Byron Marine Park draft zoning plan were handed over to the Marine Park Authority on Monday.

Contained in boxes standing about two-metres high, the submissions were presented to local Marine Parks Authority manager, Andrew Page, by Ken Thurlow, the chairman of the Northern Rivers Fisheries Conference.

Mr Thurlow said the marine park zoning plan was the most "confronting" issue the local community had faced.

He said the 5000-plus submissions opposing the draft zoning plan were a true representative sample of the community's attitude.

"This is an overwhelming rejection of this inept, ill-conceived, user-unfriendly plan," he said.

"It has also been an expensive waste of taxpayers' money. Had the Marine Park Authority taken the advice of the majority of the (Marine Park) advisory committee we could have had a win-win DZP for all user groups and the marine environment."

Mr Thurlow said the community's "rejection of this abysmal plan" highlights the fact that fisheries matters should be left to the fisheries scientists and managers and ecological issues to the ecolo- gists.

He said the community had clearly indicated they would settle for nothing less than a radical review of the draft plan.

If the community did not support the proposal, the marine park simply would not work, he said.

Mr Thurlow said the vocal minority had roared, rather than spoken on the issue.

He said it was now up to the advisory committee to ensure "the bureaucrats are listening" and implement the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the concerned community.

Marine park manager, Andrew Page said about 500 separate submissions also had been received.

He said all submissions would be processed by Marine Parks Authority officers at Coffs Harbour and a summary of the submissions would be sent to the Minister for Agriculture, Ian Macdonald and Environment Minister, Bob Debus.

It was expected the marine park zonings would be in place by the middle of next year.

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