Coalition airs marine park concerns

THE Federal Government's marine park plan will be as "powerfully unpopular" as the carbon tax in Queensland, the Opposition joint party room has been told.

During a lengthy discussion, eight Coalition MPs outlined their concerns with the marine park plan, announced two weeks ago by Environment Minister Tony Burke.

At least two Queensland MPs said the issue was particularly unpopular in Queensland's coastal electorates and among blue collar workers.

Those who addressed the joint party room agreed the plan, which will establish the largest network of marine parks in the world, would hurt recreational and commercial fishing and retailers who rely on the industry.

Concerns were also expressed the plan would increase Australia's dependence on imported fish products.

The Federal Government predicts the plan will affect about 1% of the commercial fishing industry, with a compensation fund to be established in the vicinity of $100 million.

Under the plan, which has drawn praise from environment groups, about three million square kilometres of ocean will be protected, including the Coral Sea.


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