Call for charges over fishing ban

A SENIOR Queensland Government bureaucrat should be charged with criminal offences over the decision to put a six-week ban on catching snapper, Member for Burnett Rob Messenger says.

Mr Messenger cited Section 92 of the Queensland Criminal Code, which states, “any person who, being employed in the public service, does or directs to be done, in abuse of the authority of the person’s office, any arbitrary act prejudicial to the rights of another is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for two years”.

“Despite official scientific research assessed by the independent Spencer committee indicating that the exact status of snapper stocks in Queensland is not clear, this public servant has recommended to the Fisheries Minister that a snapper fishing ban be put in place,” Mr Messenger said.

Sunfish, a peak body representing recreational fishing interests, has also questioned the stock status assessment of snapper, Mr Messenger said.

“This recommendation for a ban on snapper fishing without compelling or clear scientific evidence is an abuse of the authority of this bureaucrat’s office, and he has clearly prejudiced the rights of recreational and professional fishers in Queensland,” he said.



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