Fishing regulations fight shaping up for March election
A FIGHT over fishing regulations is looming ahead of the state election with Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate Steve Cansdell and Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis trading barbs over fishing reform.
Mr Cansdell claimed the reforms were "fundamentally flawed", and in the two years since the change have cost the industry and consumers in the Clarence Valley.
"Many fishers from the Clarence used to make a living out of 200 days per year, now have been cut back to just 89," Mr Cansdell said.
"Now if they want to fish 200 days in a year, they have to spend around $120,000 to buy another 89 days off someone else, another fisher or even an investor, with no guarantee they can even use them.
"The new system restricts fishers to working a reduced number of days or limiting their annual catch to a set quota. If they want to work more days, they either have to buy more shares or lease them from another share holder."
Mr Gulaptis responded by pointing out the NSW Government had invested $16 million into the fishing industry to make it more sustainable, and said in 2017 a bipartisan Upper House committee inquiry conducted a review of commercial fishing in NSW.
"The committee was chaired by now dumped Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MLC, Robert Brown who the following year tabled a report on the inquiry recommendations and is quoted as saying 'the committee is broadly satisfied with the Government's progress in implementing its recommendations'," Mr Gulaptis said.
"It's a bit two-faced for the SFF candidate for Clarence to criticise the reforms when his party's former leader supported the restructure."
"I acknowledge the implementation of the reforms has not always been smooth sailing.
"And there's no doubt that some fishers who embraced the restructure fared better than others, but logically I believe the industry will be stronger for the injection of $16 million and the subsidised redistribution of latent shares to full-time professionals."
Who will you vote for in the seat of Clarence at the 2019 NSW Election?
This poll ended on 22 March 2019.
STEVE CANSDELL - Shooters, Fishers and Farmers
GREG CLANCY - Greens
TRENT GILBERT - Labor
CHRIS GULAPTIS - Nationals
THOM KOTIS - Sustainable Australia
DEBRAH NOVAK - Independent
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.