Queensland's fishery may soon go under the hammer and out the door.
Queensland's fishery may soon go under the hammer and out the door. Contributed

Something 'fishy' in reforms to sell off 'the people's fish'

AN INNOCENT visitor from Mars might visit Tin Can Bay, talk to a few fishing families and leave with a great political conviction.

"We need a political party that represents the little people,” such a visitor might suggest.

But we already have one of those, don't we?

Where do the little people go when state governments effectively nationalise fishing licence investments and then package up the public fish resource for "privatisation”, that is, sale to big and even foreign-controlled corporations?

That is what is happening right now as state bureaucrats work on selling off the people's fish, packaging the resource into tradeable interests that may well end up in foreign hands.

If you haven't heard of this, you may be even more surprised to know that, by a process called consultation, the bureaucrats are now claiming that it was all your idea.

Because they have consulted you and this is what you want, they say.

I do not personally remember being asked and I would imagine most of you are in the same boat.

At the other end of the scale are people like long-term fishing advocate Joe McLeod who says he was defrauded of his fishing licence, which he bought and on which he paid stamp duty and which was originally purchased from the state government. He received no compensation and nor will we when our live fish resource is sold off.

Gympie Times


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