Fishing industry struggling
FOR almost a month, line fisherman Steve Campbell has not been able to go to work.
The angler has nowhere to process any of his catch after fishing facilities were damaged in the Christmas floods.
“It's more the point that I don't know when we are going to be able to get back out on the water,” he said.
The frustration has been building for Mr Campbell, who does not feel he has been getting enough support from the federal or state governments.
“I'd just like a guarantee that we will be getting financial help to get back on our feet and the financial help that we need,” he said.
Mr Campbell said he risked his life on the raging river numerous times helping save boaties and their vessels after they had been swept away.
“It's been a lot of diesel that I've used and I'd like some kind of reimbursement from the government, who should have had emergency crews out there doing the job,” he said.
ASP Holdings owner Seth Parker lost about $950,000 worth of equipment during the flooding — most from their fish processing facility.
“I don't know when we will be fully operational again, but I would like to get the help as soon as possible,” he said.
The fishermen met with opposition agriculture minister John Cobb and Member for Hinkler Paul Neville yesterday.
“It's a very unique situation because most of the large boats have survived to operate out but they have nowhere to bring their catch,” Mr Cobb said.
He said he would speak to the minister about the need for the processing facilities to be re-established.
“We just need to get them operating again and believe they should be made a priority,” he said.
Mr Neville urged the government to boost the cash payments from $25,000 to $50,000 for fishers in exception circumstances.