Net free zones approved by State Government
THREE Net Free Zones will be implemented in Queensland from November 1.
The three zones will be in Trinity Bay, Cairns; St Helen's Beach to Cape Hillsborough, north of Mackay; and Yeppoon-Keppel Bay-Fitzroy River, Capricornia Coast.
Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Bill Byrne said the members of Queensland Parliament last night voted against the bid from the opposition to stop the passing of the regulation associated with the net-free zone implementation.
"We are pleased to see the disallowance motion made by the opposition was unsuccessful," Minister Byrne said.
"Net-free zones are a common sense approach to resource sharing and will offer significant benefits in tourism and recreational fishing in Queensland.
"It is a key initiative in Queensland's commitment to the Reef2050 Plan and we stand by our election promise.
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"The LNP have showed their hand when it comes to Net Free Zones highlighting that tourism, injections to our local economy and sustainability are not important to them.
"The LNP have tried to play politics with a policy that will only bring benefits to this state, and as a result have failed in their attempts to block this important change to our fishing industry."
Minister Byrne said while the new Net Free Zones will be great for Queensland, the Government has listened to the views of those affected commercial fishers and as a result will be boosting the adjustment package with a scheme for acutely impacted commercial fishers
"For those fishers who have logged 60 or more days of netting effort in a net-free fishing zone and who have also more than 50 per cent of their netting effort in the zones between 2012 and 2014, they will be eligible for the additional offer," he said.
Jason Costigan voted against net free zones, despite heading to the election with a promise to support them, but the Whitsunday MP believes his "position has been consistent" on the issue.
The net free zones will come into November 1, after a move to stop the legislation failed in parliament last night.
Mr Costigan said his issue wasn't with net free zones, but with the way government had gone about consulting and compensating commercial fisherman.
"My position has been consistent for quite some time now," Mr Costigan said.
"The compensation (provided to commercial fisherman) wasn't enough. I certainly don't think the commercial fishos will be jumping for joy now.
"The only reason people will think I've back flipped will be if you, the media, paint it that way."
Mr Costigan said despite his disapproval of the way net free zones were brought about, he supports any move to boost the tourism industry.
"I will be committing myself to promoting the net free zones," he said.
In parliament last night, fisheries minister Bill Byrne was quick to call Mr Costigan on his change of heart.
"…a number of LNP MPs, including the member for Whitsunday, actively advocated in favour of these zones as part of their election campaign," Mr Byrne said.
"The member for Whitsunday was out campaigning by expressing his support and assuring people that the zones would be introduced if the LNP were returned."