17 May 2005

Tourism industry stands by reef authority

Tourism operators have defended the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in the face of concerns the body will be disbanded.

The authority is under assessment by the Uhrig review of statutory authorities, and there are calls for it to be absorbed into a Federal Government department.

The recent Future Eye report found the authority failed to properly consult with fishermen about the closure of one third of the reef to fishing.

Col Mackenzie from the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators says the reef rezoning was strongly supported by reef users and the tourism industry.

"We think that was one of the benchmark public consultations for the Australian Government in probably the last 20 years," he said.

"They've done an absolutely enormous job and delivered an outcome that to industry is probably the best possible outcome we could see."

Source: www.abc.net.au


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