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Council takes Greens to task

Coffs Harbour Council has moved to distance itself from a Greens leaflet which it claims misrepresents council’s position on the Solitary Islands Marine Park.
Coffs Harbour Council has moved to distance itself from a Greens leaflet which it claims misrepresents council’s position on the Solitary Islands Marine Park.

QUESTIONS are being asked whether the Greens are clouding the truth over Solitary Islands Marine Park issues for political gain ahead of the State election.

Coffs Harbour City Council has issued a statement distancing itself from a Greens leaflet doing the rounds.

The handout wrongly quotes the council’s stance on fishing in the marine park.

“The source of this quote is unclear to council and it does not reflect the council’s position on the current debate over fishing within the Solitary Islands Marine Park,” a council spokesperson said.

In a touch of irony, the Greens on their website stated: “The Shooters and Fishers Party and The Nationals are actively spreading misinformation about the Greens stance on Marine Parks. Here are some facts.”

In highlighting the misinformation, the council yesterday clarified its position over the politically-sensitive review of the marine park.

A spokesperson said: “The council resolved on September 9, 2010, that: council write to state and federal agencies involved in the current proposed ‘lockout of fishing/trawling within the Solitary Islands Marine Park’, noting the social and economic impact on these industries.”

In addition “council would support a balanced approach lessening this impact”.

The council subsequently sent letters outlining this position to the director general of the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, the secretary of the federal Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, the director general of the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, the NSW Greens and the director general of Industry and Investment NSW.

“Council was also advised last September that the same incorrect and unauthorised quote that has now appeared in the leaflet had been placed on the Greens’ website.

Council sent a letter to the Greens, once again, outlining the September 9, 2010, resolution and pointing out the incorrect nature of the quote,” the spokesperson said.

The Greens’ website mentions the council saying: “Coffs Harbour City Council have stated they have seen significant benefits to the tourism industry flowing from the Solitary Islands Marine Park (SIMP) as well as benefits to the community through additional recreational marine pursuits and the SIMP is widely recognised as a major draw card to the region.”



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