Subject closed on net fishing ban plan, despite no data
THE basis of the Labor Government's net-free zones is that fishing tourism will blossom, generating more income and jobs.
But on Wednesday Minister for Fisheries Bill Byrne couldn't say how many jobs it would create, or approximately how much extra income it would bring.
"How long is a piece of string... more than there is now?" Mr Byrne responded to commercial fisherman Mark McMillan at Wednesday's InfoFish Conference in Gladstone.
Third-generation commercial fisherman Mr McMillan, who says he stands to lose his livelihood, wasn't convinced.
"They keep saying this policy will create all these jobs... how about a number they envisage?" he asked.
Mr Byrne cited the success of similar reforms in the Northern Territory, which he said had boosted the territory's tourism sector.
He said the government's policy was "not a matter for debate or negotiation" and another net-free zone would be implemented in Moreton Bay.
"The net-free zones were an election commitment... an opportunity to boost recreational fishing, already worth $400 million to the Queensland economy," he said.
"There are some wild accusations out there, but the reality is that between 2012 and 2014 the average annual catch from the net-free zones proposed for Cairns, Mackay and the Capricorn Coast/Fitzroy River was 7.5% of the 4325 tonnes total east coast net catch in Queensland."
Mr Byrne's office told the ABC in April the data was from a Fisheries Management Review last year but was yet to be released to the public.
Tracey Sorensen: Bill Byrne needs to work for his region, he is not supporting locals or local businesses. He says no to everything that might help this area prosper...Where is the logic in killing one industry to possibly increase another? Want to help the tourism industry Bill then support the grant of a gaming licence to GKI...
Matt Barber: Can't wait. It's going to be great for the community. Xxxx or a large company need to get on board with a competition like the million dollar Barra comp in nt...Would be awesome to have a similar Comp in CQ.
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