Residents Called to Rally Against Fishing Bans

12 Aug 2010 11:51 AMJann Stuckey

12 August 2010

Member for Currumbin, Jann Stuckey says Labor’s refusal to reveal plans that would see some 30% of Australian fishing waters ruled off-limits is an issue of major concern leading into the Federal election.

“Fishing is Australia’s number one leisure past-time and a multi-billion dollar industry. If the recommendations in the report go ahead after the election an entire industry in certain locations will be decimated,” said Ms Stuckey.

“A rally is planned for 9am this Saturday 14 August at Jack Evans Boat Harbour Tweed to give local residents and Friends of Fishing a chance to voice their concerns.

“In our region here, Gold Coast – Tweed Heads to Byron Bay a large percentage of jobs, revenue and tourism come from fishing associated activities upon which the general economy is dependent.

“Undoubtedly fishing licences prop up State Government coffers on both sides of the border and this revenue stream would evaporate if restrictions make it too difficult for people to fish.

Brad Smith, a born and bred southern Gold Coast local and fisherman for more than 30 years said, “Apart from a huge negative effect on the economy, widespread fishing bans would create safety issues by pushing smaller boats out into deeper more dangerous waters.”

“Recommendations in the Marine Bioregional Planning report, which would see even more areas in Queensland and around Australia nominated as marine parks and no-fish zones, have sat on Peter Garrett’s desk for 9 months,” said Ms Stuckey.

“Why is Mr Garrett refusing to announce Labor’s plans prior to the election? Australians deserve to know what he intends to do.

“The Coalition have made their intentions very clear on this. Tony Abbott has committed to put on hold the Marine Bioregional Planning process and engage in thorough industry and community consultation.

“The Greens are giving their preferences to Labor in many seats. We all saw what happened in Queensland with Premier Bligh paying back the favour with legislation designed to please the Greens.

“Peter Garrett is doing an Anna Bligh on this critically important issue.

“Residents in the Tweed – Gold Coast region are going to suffer greatly if these bans go ahead – commercial fishermen and prawn trawlers, bait and tackle shops, restaurants, tourism accommodation, and the charter, retail and boat industries.

“A Federal election is on our doorstep and we have a right to know the intentions of both major parties on this issue that is so critical to the livelihoods of countless Australians.
Ends
Media Contact: Jann Stuckey 0439 755 919