Chase Mill feeds his first dolphin at Tin Can Bay yesterday.
Chase Mill feeds his first dolphin at Tin Can Bay yesterday. Craig Warhurst

Emerson moves fast to crush department’s dolphin bullies

REBEL bureaucrats struck back at democracy this week with a claimed new crackdown on dolphin feeding - only 24 hours after it was officially declared legal forever by Environment Minister Andrew Powell.

Mr Powell's strong stance against frequently misleading anti-feeding advice from his own department was allegedly met on Thursday by significant action from officials of another State Government bureaucracy, the dolphin feeding landlord, Queensland Transport.

A party of Queensland Transport officials threatened the continued operations of both the Barnacles Cafe dolphin feeding facility and the separate Rainbow Beach business, Dolphin Ferry Cruises, according to Bay fisherman, conservation adviser and dolphin feeding advocate Joe McLeod.

"They arrived at about 1pm and demanded to see a copy of the new conditions for dolphin feeding, to see if they breached Barnacles' lease.

"They also said that Transport Infrastructure regulations would prohibit ferries, including the Dolphin Ferry, from operating out of the boat harbour area, which includes most of Snapper Creek.

"They claimed the regulations also prohibit people living on boats, even though the marina is in the harbour area. And they also prohibit anchoring a tinny for fishing.

"But they were really only interested in Barnacles," he said.

The bureaucrats' rebellion did not last long, however.

Transport Minister Scott Emerson launched an immediate investigation and promised a quick resolution.

Mr McLeod praised quick action by MP David Gibson in raising the issue, which by mid-afternoon yesterday had resulted in Mr Emerson's office seeking the officials' names.

"This is bureaucracy gone mad," Mr Gibson said.

"I feel like I'm in an episode of 'Yes Minister,' where the bureaucrats are trying to run the show."

Bay businesses expressed surprise at the regulations, claiming they had been introduced without public consultation.

Gympie Times


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