LOCAL commercial fishers are urging the public to sign a petition against the State Government's plan to ban net fishing before it is tabled in State Parliament.

The petition, launched by commercial fisherman Paul Grunske and sponsored by Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett, has collected some thousands of signatures supporting the commercial fishing industry.

Mr Bennett said the Labor Government's plan to close off large swathes of Queensland coastal waters to net fishing was unfair and based on ideology, not science.

"We need to support environmentally sustainable fishing for both commercial and recreation fishers, but this is nothing but an ideological view to payback green votes," he said.

"This is policy on the run introduced by an inexperienced, arrogant and out of touch government."

Mr Bennett said he was supporting the petition as net fishing bans would force hundreds of commercial fishers out of business and encourage an increase in imported seafood.

"These bans will not only put the livelihoods of fishers and families at risk, but compromise consumers' access to clean and safe seafood from Queensland waterways," he said

Mr Bennett said the Labor Government had been dishonest with the people of Queensland and failed to consult with key stakeholders prior to the state election.

Mr Grunske thanked the public for supporting the cause so far.

"Queenslanders are overwhelmingly against this unpopular policy," Mr Grunske said.

"They are destroying an industry for no other reason than a vote grab… it's nothing to do with responsible fisheries management.

"Thanks to all the locals who have helped give commercial fishers a voice and overwhelming support of a very important industry.  

"Time is running out… we are hoping to collect many more to make this inexperienced government listen to the people."

The petition will be available to sign at the Farmers Market, Kendalls Flat, this Saturday from 7am- Noon.
 



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