Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett, Grunske's owner Beryl Grunske and Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Deb Frecklington MP talk about netting laws and how they will impact local businesses. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett, Grunske's owner Beryl Grunske and Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Deb Frecklington MP talk about netting laws and how they will impact local businesses. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

Burnett MP says net-free fishing zones will cost jobs

THE seafood industry has labelled the State Government's decision to proceed with three net-free fishing zones as "ludicrous".

The three zones will be in Trinity Bay, Cairns; St Helen's Beach to Cape Hillsborough, north of Mackay; and Yeppoon-Keppel Bay-Fitzroy River, Capricornia Coast.

They will be implemented on November 1, 2015

Yesterday, Fisheries Minister Bill Byrne said Queensland Parliament members on Wednesday night voted against the bid from the Opposition to stop the passing of the regulation associated with the net-free zone implementation.

"Net-free zones are a common sense approach to resource sharing and will offer significant benefits in tourism and recreational fishing in Queensland," Mr Byrne said.

However, Burnett MP Stephen Bennett said the net-free zones would gravely affect employment right here in the Bundaberg and Burnett region.

"It will slash business for local fishers and also put many land-based workers out of business - everyone who supports the fishing industry will be put out of work," he said.

Earlier in the year, local commercial fishers launched a petition against the Labor Government's plan including full-page adverts in the NewsMail.

The petition launched by fisherman and Grunske's By the River owner Paul Grunske and supported by Mr Bennett garnered about 10,000 signatures in Bundaberg alone.

In August, Mr Grunske told the NewsMail that the net-free fishing zones would lead to job losses and a move towards imported fish.

Mr Byrne has previously stated that of the 6300 public submissions received, 90% of them were in favour of introducing net-free zones.

He said the government had listened to the views of those affected commercial fishers, boosting the adjustment package.

"For those fishers who have logged 60 or more days of netting effort in a net-free fishing zone and who have also more than 50% of their netting effort in the zones between 2012 and 2014, they will be eligible for the additional offer," he said.

"This offer, called the Impact Alleviation Scheme, will be made to eligible commercial fishing licence holders.

"This is in addition to the Buyback Scheme and Settlement Scheme."



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