Fish hatchery owner seeks compo
TWO-headed fish, a one-sided media report, an incomplete government investigation, and a bitter neighbourhood dispute are the sensational elements of two looming court cases centred on the Wolvi area.
Fish hatchery owner Gwen Gilson blames neighbouring macadamia farmer Troy Ziesemer for fish deformities which she says have plagued her property. She is suing him for damage from alleged chemical spray drift.
Her legal representative announced this week that she would be seeking compensation for financial losses.
He is suing her and Channel 9 for defamation after a 60 Minutes report, backing Ms Gilson, which a federal government agency has said is “based on some extraordinary misrepresentations.”
He said Channel 9 had not obtained his side of the story, despite his availability and that chemicals involved in the allegations had not been used on the orchard for some time.
The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority said a State Government investigation of Ms Gilson’s allegations was not complete and two interim reports so far had not identified pesticides as a cause.
A spokesperson said fish deformities were common and had been recorded since the 1700s, “when there were not agricultural chemicals.” They could result from fish breeding practices, including changes in water temperature, he said.
A media release issued by the authority said the 60 Minutes report “was based on some extraordinary misrepresentations.”
In a statement issued to 60 Minutes, it said the Queensland Government’s Noosa Fish Health Investigation Taskforce had not yet issued its final report.