Fishing Industry – Speech in the House of Representatives 22/06/23
Hansard 22/06/2023 House of Representatives
Mr LLEW O’BRIEN (Wide Bay) (13:48): Fishers in Wide Bay like Mark Alexander have worked for years with the government on sustainable fishing strategies. Suddenly, all that work has been for nothing. Change is being proposed in Queensland by both the state and federal Labor governments to sea zones where fishing will be restricted or prohibited entirely, creating a perverse outcome of economic destruction in coastal villages which rely on the fishing industry.
Fish are a sustainable and renewable food source. Burdening our domestic fishing industry with restrictive regulations after zero consultation doesn’t mean Australians suddenly lose their appetite for seafood; they buy it from other countries—predominantly countries which have lax or no fishing industry or aquaculture standards at all, which undermines the sustainability of our oceans and the health of our marine life. Meanwhile, in Cooloola Coast, a fisherman who loses his livelihood can’t employ people or feed his kids while we’re all forced to eat imported seafood—all because of changes made by people who wouldn’t know a mullet from a marlin.
Regulation is important. Fishers know that. That’s why they have worked with government. But now they have been cut off cold. The Palaszczuk and Albanese governments’ refusal to engage will be at the detriment of communities here and afar.