Fishing minister dismisses net-free petitions
ROCKHAMPTON MP and Minister for Fisheries Bill Byrne has dismissed petitions, signed by more than 5000 people, which demanded the government abandon plans to create "net free zones" off the Capricorn Coast, Mackay and Cairns.
The two petitions had a combined 5054 signatures.
The net-free zone off Mackay would be put in place at Seaforth.
The petitions called for the right of Queenslanders "to buy fresh local caught seafood and oppose any fishing closures".
It also said, "75% of Queenslanders cannot or do not fish and rely on net fisheries to access fresh local fish".
The minister said in response the plan was "to allow commercial trawling, line fishing and crabbing to continue within these zones".
"And therefore the general community will still be able to purchase seafood caught in other commercial fisheries and from commercial netting activities outside of these three zones."
He added that it was an election commitment by the Palaszczuk Government and that $10 million had been set aside in the current budget to buy out commercial fishing licences "to minimise impacts from displaced commercial fishing" operations.