Donaldson Turns Back On Commercial Fishing Industry

by Ted Sorensen
  • Labor refuses to give certainty to commercial fishing industry in Great Sandy Strait
  • Hundreds of jobs and businesses will be affected by Labor’s plans for further World Heritage listings
  • Hervey Bay, Tin Bay and Great Sandy Strait regions suffer some of highest jobless rates in Queensland

Labor’s Fisheries Minister Leanne Donaldson has refused to answer a question in parliament* on the impact of her government’s move to extend restrictions on commercial fishing and local seafood businesses in the Great Sandy Strait.

LNP Shadow Agriculture Minister Dale Last said the Minister’s answer was an insult to every commercial fisher and seafood business and their hundreds of employees in the Tin Can Bay, Hervey Bay and Great Sandy Strait regions.

“The commercial fishing and seafood industry is vital to the region, but Labor’s Minister for Fisheries couldn’t care less about the hundreds of jobs and businesses that will be affected by what Labor’s got planned with further World Heritage listings,” Mr Last said.

“The Minister’s answer to my legitimate Question on Notice to parliament (No. 1233 attached) shows not only how out of touch this Minister is from key stakeholders in her portfolio, but moreover just how little she cares.

“Any reasonable person would expect the Minister for Fisheries to be fully briefed about any potential impacts on a major primary industry and the impact on jobs from any decision that would further shutdown one of the region’s main employers.

“Hervey Bay, Tin Bay and the Great Sandy Strait region suffers some of the highest jobless rates in Queensland and the best the Fisheries Minster can do is refuse to answer and give me the brush-off.

“Her refusal to provide a decent answer is an insult to the commercial seafood industry and underlines the standing the Labor gives primary industries in Queensland.

“Minister Donaldson is right at the bottom of the pecking order in Cabinet and clearly happy to leave all major industry decisions to others and in this case to Environment Minister Miles about the future, or lack of it for commercial fishing.”

*Question on notice from Shadow Agriculture Minister Dale Last to Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Leanne Donaldson:

Will the Minister advise the full impact on commercial fishers of the proposal to extend the Fraser Island World Heritage Area – Tin Can Bay, Great Sandy Strait and Great Sandy Marine Park areas and what steps are currently being taken to engage with all fisheries and seafood stakeholders in the regions regarding any impacts on commercial fishing and associated businesses?

I thank the Member for the question. Matters relating to World Heritage areas and marine parks are the responsibility of the Honourable Dr Steven Miles MP, Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef. Consequently, any questions related to this matter should be referred to Dr Miles for his consideration.

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