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April 23rd, 2010

Peter Garret’s plan could end all fishing off Fraser.


The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts under the guidance
of Peter Garret MP is currently assessing for closure, large areas of the marine
environment on the east coast of Australia. Of particular concern to the Wide Bay
and Cooloola regions is the shaded dark blue area off Fraser Island. This area is in
excess of 13,000 square kilometres and is being assessed for potential closure to all
fishing. Potential large scale closures such as this seems to indicate that current
management practices are failing. There are numerous management tools at the
disposal of authorities. Industry participants are unanimous – “current management
practices are sufficient to protect these waters”; wholesale closure is not justified and
will cost hundred of millions of dollars and many jobs.
The local Wide Bay and Cooloola communities need to think very long and hard
about the potential social and economic impact this closure will have. These closures
could have a catastrophic impact on our economy. The local trawl, spanner crab,
charter and tourism industries rely heavily on this area and should access be restricted
Businesses will fail. Further many recreational fishers from all over Australia and
internationally come to this region and regularly venture into the offshore waters. The
flow on effect to the local economy will see restaurants, cafés, accommodation
providers, chandleries, marine sales, marine services and tackle shops all at risk of
failure. Businesses from the Sunshine Coast in the south through to Gladstone in the
north will suffer. An already difficult employment market will be made almost
impossible. Members of the Cooloola and Wide Bay communities could be forced to
sell up and leave. The local property market will be the next to suffer.
Peter Garret has indicated that he will not be providing the details of actual closures
prior to the next election. He has indicated that it is inevitable access will be
restricted and Green Zones will be forced upon us in the waters off Fraser Island. No
industry can operate with such uncertainty. Businesses will find it difficult to attract
and maintain staff while business investment will stop.
If you are a marine dependant business, Charter Boat Operator or Recreational Fisher
you must act now. If you are in any way linked to the Fraser Tourism Industry or
provide services to these industries you must act now. If you are concerned about the
value of your property you must act now. The Cooloola economy in particular is at
significant risk of large scale failure if Fraser Island is shut down. The government
has indicated that there is little room for business to be compensated and for the
Recreational Fisher history has shown that you will not be compensated at all.
Concerns will not just come from local quarters. The many thousands of visitors
(from many electorates) will also need to act. It is quite possible that people visiting
the region are from as far a field as the Federal Electorate of Kingsford Smith, such is
the appeal of the Fraser coast.
Peter Garret has proven himself to be a less than effective manager of large projects
and has struggled to manage change. It is therefore important that the Prime Minister
is made aware of your concerns.
What should you do? You need to register your concerns by telephoning:

1. The office of the Prime Minister – 02 6277 7700. Ask for your concerns
to be recorded and passed through to the Prime Minister.
2. The office of the Environment Minister – 02 6277 7640. Ask to speak to
Ryan Black Departmental Liaison Officer, ensure your concerns are
recorded and passed through to the minister

3. Send an email to:
Fight 4 Fraser

This email was received and published 24th April 2010

Make your voice heard as to where you stand with the issue raised.

Hervey Bay Qld is basically there because of Fraser Island and Fishing

It is hard to imagine where Hervey Bay would be if recreational fishing was severley restricted.

Is the picture of dad & his son fishing a thing of the past?

Are family fishing outings a thing of the past?

Where is the line to be drawn by Mr Garrett?

As I am not familiar with current commercial restrictions, I am unable to comment on same. I just hope we will still have top quality fish produce available to us and not be just left with products from some overseas countries where polluted & contaminated waters are prevalent in the environment in which some of our table fish imports originate.

Can we be guaranteed that we will still have fresh local fish for our families and restaurants, cafes and the like who are heavily reliant on local produce to supply the many thousands of tourists who flock here and demand local produce instead of some frozen fish products imported from the polluted waters of far away lands

One has  to obtain the facts and the intentions of the government need to be quite clear before making a determination.

On the face of it, if fishing is over regulated – GOODBYE Hervey Bay.



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