Rally turns on Greens candidate
RICHMOND Greens candidate Joe Ebono felt a harsh reception at the Friends of Fishing rally on Saturday.
A member of the angry crowd shoved Mr Ebono in the chest after shouting and telling him to leave.
Mr Ebono and Tweed Shire councillor Katie Milne attended the rally at Jack Evans Boat Harbour, which Mr Ebono said was filled with rally-goers not wanting to speak about the issue to him.
“There were clearly so angry they didn’t want to speak or hear what I had to say,” Mr Ebono said.
Mr Ebono played down the altercation but said he was there to be a part of democracy.
“We’re all in this together and we have to find ways to work together,” Mr Ebono said.
“The studies show this area is where the marine park needs to be, it is where the fish hide.
“The proposed marine park will mean safe havens will stay protected and adult fish can be caught in open water.”
Rally organiser and Tweed Coast Amateur Fishing Clubs Association secretary Angela Dennison said Mr Ebono was asked to leave repeatedly.
“We were there trying to do something and two Greenies decided to turn up in front of a crowd that was already angry about the issue,” she said.
“As a representative of my area I went to all the meetings and two weeks prior to the rally everyone refused to have anything to do with the rally and Joan (van Lieshout) was the only candidate to realise what was going on in the end.”
Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party member Keith Douglas said he was disappointed the rally organisers and Liberal candidate Joan van Lieshout did not let Mr Ebono speak on stage.
“They should have let him speak to the rally because if he’d spoken up there we could have shot him down in flames,” Mr Douglas said.
“It was a tragedy because it was a rally of great speeches and it was very clever of him to steal the limelight but not fair to all the people who were there.”
Mr Douglas said traditional Labor voters in the Tweed and Gold Coast would turn on the government.
“Regardless of what happens on August 21 this issue has started a ripple and Labor and the Greens will feel the effect in years to come,” he said.
“The real story here is Bob Brown and the Greens are misleading the Australian public with studies that have been discounted by science
“No fish has ever been made extinct by fishing and this be negative for everybody. We will have to rely on imported seafood.”