Labor bows to LNP pressure for a fair go for fishers
Labor’s Fisheries Minister has bowed to pressure from the LNP Opposition to increase compensation to commercial fishers who will be affected by the government’s knee-jerk net free fishing zone policy. Shadow Fisheries Minister Deb Frecklington moved a Disallowance Motion in Parliament to hit the ‘pause’ button on Labor’s rushed process to implement three net-free zones in Cairns, Mackay and Rockhampton.
“It’s disappointing the motion was rejected because without it there had been no opportunity for anyone opposed to the new regulations to actually have their say,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“The government has not approached this from a scientific basis and the Minister has admitted so.
“This has the ability to take away the rights and livelihoods of commercial fishermen without any consultation or agreement.
“The LNP has stood up for the rights Queensland commercial fishermen, to give them the chance to finally have a voice about a decision on which they were never consulted.
“The Members who voted against the Disallowance Motion last night have taken away the livelihoods of 53 commercial fishing families with the stroke of their pens.
“They are also severely impacting the other small businesses associated with the commercial fishing sector such as the cold stores, transport, wholesalers, retail seafood shops and restaurants.”
Mrs Frecklington said that the LNP remains committed to ensuring that the fishing industry remains sustainable and any policy moving forward would be based on sound science, broad consultation, agreement and fair compensation.
“I have said all along the positions of recreational and commercial fishermen should not be mutually exclusive and that there is room for all in the net-free zones debate,” she said.
“However, the Labor Government have chosen to barrel through with this policy and in the process have created so much angst and anxiety for the commercial fishing sector.
“This type of disrespectful treatment typifies what Labor thinks of our primary producers.
“Queenslanders didn’t vote for our commercial fishers to be short changed by this Labor government