It's time we hooked into an industry on our doorstep

A FORMER Maryborough MP believes the Fraser Coast has an untapped industry that could boost the economy while providing valuable new jobs.

John Kingston was a two-term state politician who also represented the former Maryborough City Council - and was a former professional fisherman and fish farmer.

Since retiring from parliament for health reasons, Dr Kingston has become a specialist in policy and strategy planning at government, industry and farming levels.

He claims the region's river systems are under-utilised despite having the capacity to become one of the world's premier sportfishing destinations.

"Everybody's running around in circles at the minute saying, 'What can we do? How can we improve the economic situation here?'," Mr Kingston said.

"I'm just raising the point that no-one's identified angling and specific angling as having potential - and it does have potential."

Mr Kingston suggested a strategy be developed, similar to the South East Queensland Health Waterways Strategy 2007-2012, to improve the condition of the region's waterways.

He said healthy freshwater systems would improve the sportfish species like barramundi, bass, threadfin salmon and saratoga.

And he said if then the three levels of government came together with men and women of enterprise to market the Fraser Coast it could become a fishing Mecca.

According to Mr Kingston, there are other locations around the globe that have tried something similar and had success.

He argued that even as nearby at the Logan River, there was evidence of the benefits of a healthy waterway.

"The prawn farms on the Logan River are going gangbusters for instance," he said.

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