Debate Over Fishing Ban Heats Up

19 Aug 2010 10:49 AMJann Stuckey

19 August 2010

Member for Currumbin, Jann Stuckey last night slammed the refusal by the Federal Labor Government to reveal plans for proposed fishing bans in 30% of Australian waters.

“It is unforgivable that Federal Labor refuses to reveal their plans regarding recommendations in the Marine Bioregional Planning Process just days out from a federal election,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett has sat on this report and its recommendations for nine months now, and has stated that Labor’s policy will be made public after the election.

“That is simply not good enough.  Remember, Anna Bligh told Queenslanders they could count on her, but as soon as she won the state election she announced she was selling off our assets.

“By contrast, the Liberals and Nationals have been upfront, supporting a balanced approach to marine conservation that includes thorough and extensive consultation before decisions are made on Marine Protected Areas.

“If the recommendations in the report go ahead after the election an entire industry in certain locations will be decimated.

“In my local electorate on the Gold Coast and in the area from Tweed Heads to Byron Bay a large percentage of jobs, revenue and tourism come from fishing associated activities upon which the general economy is heavily dependent.

“The recreational aspect should also not be underestimated. Fishing is the number one lifestyle pastime of Australians and many believe it is their right to be able to cast a line.

“At a rally in Tweed Heads last Saturday several hundred locals, many of whom were members of the fishing industry, expressed their very real fears that their livelihoods will be destroyed. 

“Labor’s ill-thought policy will not only put fishing operators out of business, but will extend to boat builders, bait and tackle shops and other onshore businesses, not to mention the devastating repercussions for the tourism industry.

“This is a policy that must be exposed for all Australians to judge for themselves and vote accordingly on 21 August.” 

Link to the debate, begins page 70:

Media Contact: Jann Stuckey 0439 755919