SEAFOOD: New controls to maintain a sustainable fishery have been criticised for breaching civil liberties.
SEAFOOD: New controls to maintain a sustainable fishery have been criticised for breaching civil liberties. Ron Bloxham

Fishery plan prompts Big Brother legal doubts

AN ENVIRONMENTAL enforcement system, billed as vital to conserving the state fishery and balancing the rights of anglers and professional fishermen, has prompted "Big Brother” concerns from the legal profession.

Speaking in State Parliament, Fisheries Minister Mark Furner described the new laws as "long overdue”.

But his Opposition counterpart, Gympie MP Tony Perrett says they will "trash” the commercial fishing sector.

And the Queensland Law Society says they also trample on civil rights.

Mr Perrett said Mr Furner was wrong to say Opposition amendments would give black market operators five days notice before any inspection.

He was supported by the Queensland Law Society, which said inspectors who reasonably suspected any offence was being committed could already obtain a search warrant.

The QLS said powers to board a vessel or enter a vehicle on the beach were now "unjustifiably broad.” But a multi-party parliamentary committee said the powers were justified, despite breaching normal rights and liberties.

Gympie Times


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