Opinion

Whale operators feeling let down by MP Ted Sorensen

EDITORIAL: It is difficult to understand the mindset of some people who comment on the Chronicle's website.

During the past few weeks, one of the most important industries on the Fraser Coast - whale watching - has come under attack as the State Government decided to let operators in other parts of Queensland use state waters without paying any fees.

With local operators paying a combined total of more than $100,000 in fees every year, along with higher fuel costs due to needing to travel further to see the whales, it seemed obvious they had a legitimate gripe.

Considering the impact the visitors who come for whale watching season have on all businesses, you would think the community would be quick to rally to support the industry.

Instead, there is a vocal presence online seeming to take glee in the difficulties facing the industry.

Many locals commenting claimed the Hervey Bay operators charged too much for their services, seemingly unaware the story they were commenting on was about the unfair fees that push those prices up in the first place.

The same people so concerned with pricing also seemed completely unaware they could easily pick up a Staycations Card as a local resident and receive great deals to go and watch the whales.

Another factor to this issue has been the performance of Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen.

Ted is a good bloke and his massive victory in the last election is indicative of his popularity - but the local operators, some of whom have been his staunchest supporters over the years, are feeling let down.

They wanted to see him fight tooth and nail for an issue that affected all businesses which rely on tourism in his electorate.

They don't feel he did, although Ted is quick to point out he has arranged for two of the relevant government ministers to come to Hervey Bay to discuss the issues.

Topics:  editorial, hervey bay, hervey bay mp, roderick makim, state government, ted sorensen, whale watching



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