CONGRATULATIONS: Agriculture Minister Mark Furner congratulated Gympie State High School's agriculture students on their commitment to a farming future, as he helped out with the school's gooseberry harvest.
CONGRATULATIONS: Agriculture Minister Mark Furner congratulated Gympie State High School's agriculture students on their commitment to a farming future, as he helped out with the school's gooseberry harvest. Troy Jegers

Furner rejects timber and fishery reform criticism

QUEENSLAND Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner has defended upcoming new state government rules to restrict timber and fish harvesting.

The changes were needed, he said, to ensure the survival of all industries associated with timber harvesting, transport, milling and marketing and everyone involved in the commercial seafood and recreational angling industries.

Mr Furner said industry consultation would be an important part of timber industry reforms and extensive public consultation had already informed proposed changes to fishery laws.

He said the extensive investigation and consultation processes on fhe fishing changes had convinced him aht "doing nothing is not an option.”

He said the state government had invested directly into the Wide Bay timber industry to allow greater innovation and investment.

This was exemplified by government support for Hyne Timber in Maryborough, helping the development of the company's new $20 million facility, through the government's $150 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.

"Maryborough and district residents will reap the benefits of this plant, with up to 80 construction jobs and 42 long-term jobs sustained once operational,” he said.

The Government is developing a timber supply policy, something the Opposition does not yet have, he said.

Referring to Gympie MP Tony Perrett as "the Sgt Shultz of the LNP,” he accused Mr Perrett of ill-informed broadsides that talk down the industry while offering no solutions.”

"We are delivering much needed fisheries reforms to ensure we leave a sustainable fishery for our children and grandchildren.

"We want our commercial fishers and recreational fishers to be able to continue for generations to come.

We know the fishing industry has a great future as demand for delicious Queensland seafood continues to skyrocket.

"The LNP cut Fisheries staff by 28% government and opposed stronger laws.

"They hid than ran from their own report on fisheries reforms.,” he said.

Gympie Times


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