Fishing lobby to fight the Feds

COMMERCIAL, charter and amateur fishers will join with the accommodation and marine industries that support them, to present a united negotiating position to the Federal Government over threatened fishing closures off the Cooloola coastline.

With both commercial and recreational fishing vital to the whole Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach economies, business representatives said yesterday that any effect on their area would also hit hard at Gympie’s economy.

Tin Can Bay Chamber of Commerce President Peter Todd and Rainbow Beach Commerce and Tourism Association President Scott Elms met with professional fishing representative Kevin Riebel, Gympie marine retailer and boat builder Frank Watson yesterday at the office of Gympie solicitor and commercial fishing advocate Michael Garrahy, along with Mayor Ron Dyne and Deputy Mayor Tony Perrett.

The threatened closures are in the mix of possibilities for the future of a large area of ocean off the Coast, running from Double Island Point to about three-quarters of the way up Fraser Island and out to sea some hundreds of nautical miles.

The campaign has begun to spread to fishing media across Australia and aims to reach people in every federal electorate who visit the Cooloola Coast.

It also aims to plug into a national campaign to find common ground with people affected by the possible closures around Australia.

The campaign will step up considerably next Saturday, with a public rally at Gympie’s showgrounds Pavilion from 6.30pm.

The rally will be addressed by fishing advocates and lobby groups, including Marine Queensland, Fishing Party president Alex Winton, Cairns marine business operator Wayne Bayne and three senior Coalition Senators, Brett Mason, Ian Macdonald and Ron Boswell.

Gympie Times

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