Fishing on election agenda
WITH a state election looming, commercial fishing is a key issue on the agenda for all state Tweed candidates.
The recent New South Wales Liberals and Nationals Fisheries policy, Securing Sustainable, Viable and Healthy Fisheries is good news for the Tweed fishing industry according to Tweed Nationals MP Geoff Provest.
The policy promises a $16 million restructure of the industry with exit grants and share class buy outs.
“It’s about ensuring the fisheries of NSW are environmentally responsible and both ecologically and economically sustainable,” Mr Provest said.
“Tweed professional fishers do it particularly tough because many have to buy quotas and obtain licences and other red tape from both Queensland and NSW.
“That is why the Coalition’s whole of government review of the industry is so important for the Tweed.
“That review will also put the brakes on Labor’s practice of indiscriminately declaring new marine parks without considering the local impact.”
Greens Party candidate for the seat of Tweed Andrea Vickers has defended marine parks off the Tweed coast, saying they would provide food security for the region in the future and protect valuable coastal tourism.
“I understand why people are upset, but the problem is not the marine park, the problem is the decline in fish stocks,” Ms Vickers said.
“Nobody likes to be told they can’t fish where they have been used to fishing, but the fact is if we don’t have the reserve, eventually no one will be able to fish at all.
“It is a mistake to say increasing marine parks will damage the fishing industry. It’s the current unsustainable and unregulated practices that are resulting in overfishing in our coastal waters that is the problem.”
Tweed Labor candidate Reece Byrnes said the Tweed fishing industry is important electorate issue.
“As a person who grew up in a Tweed fishing family, I understand the social, economic and environmental importance of having a sustainable fish eco system at play in the Tweed,” Mr Byrnes said. “I am disappointed Mr Provest can only bait the electorate with promises of a review rather than any clear alternate marine policy positions.”
The state election will be held on March 26.