Fishing families from Moreton Bay to the Gulf, and all along Queenslands inland waterways and impoundments should compare Labors fishing policy to the Coalitions to get a taste for what they would be in for under a Labor Government.
Some of the consequences of Kevin Rudds deal with the extreme Greens are becoming clearer as we move closer toward the Federal election on Saturday and nowhere is there better evidence of this destructive partnership than in todays final week release of Labors fishing policy, Senator Boswell said.
As part of their policy released today, Labor have committed just $2 million to a vague programme called a Recreational Fishing Industry Development Strategy, Senator Boswell said.
In Labor political speak, I suspect this means another report put together by city-based consultants that would help a Labor/Greens team to further restrict where, how and when recreational fishermen can drop a line.
In direct contrast, the Coalition has committed another $15 million to our successful Recreational Fishing Community Grants programme, which has helped fishing clubs and community groups build new boat ramps, pontoons and fish-cleaning facilities all over Australia.
The Coalition has committed to reviewing the National Recreational Fishing Policy in consultation with fishermen, providing up to $600,000 over 3 years to the peak body, RecFish Australia, and have confirmed our opposition to any proposal for a tackle tax.
My strong suspicion is that Labor wants to provide less funding for recreational fishermen because they believe that less fishing will take place once they work with the Greens to close down more of our fishing grounds as they are doing in Moreton Bay at the moment, Senator Boswell said.
On top of this, Labor has confirmed to commercial line fishermen in the Torres Strait that they want to provide only $7.5 million for a licence buyout, where the Coalition is in the process of completing negotiations for a $7.9 million buyout in full consultation with the Queensland Seafood Industry Association.
Labor have also failed to mention anything to do with fuel tax credits for commercial fishermen, which the Coalition have committed to providing from 1 July 2008, and which has been welcomed by professional fishermen.
What is Labors position on the provision of fuel tax credits to fishing businesses, and how does this fit in with the Greens policy to cut fuel rebates?
Fishermen should make no mistake that a Labor Government with anti-fishing Peter Garrett as the Environment Minister, in a tight partnership with the Bob Brown and the Greens in the Senate would be absolutely disastrous for them, their families and their industries, Senator Boswell said.
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