Senator for Queensland, Ron Boswell, said that the decision by the Gillard Government to allow a massive foreign super-trawler to fish in Australian waters is a slap in the face to Australian commercial fishermen who will soon be forced out of the proposed marine parks.
“Tony Burke is attempting to shut down the Australian commercial fishing sector with the world’s largest marine parks, and at the same time the Government has approved what will be the largest trawler ever to fish in Australian waters.
“This is stupidity at its best and again highlights the dysfunction in the Gillard Government and how again their policies are at cross purposes,” Senator Boswell said.
The approval of the 142-metre long Dutch-owned Margiris has caught the Labor Party’s coalition partner the Greens by surprise and has incurred their displeasure, whilst at the same time the unions are backing the plan.
With Tasmania experiencing the highest unemployment rate in Australia, the unions are supporting the trawler and the potential jobs that will flow to the state.
“The Gillard Government is sending mixed messages. They must decide if they are for fishing and jobs or not,” Senator Boswell said.
“If they are serious about creating jobs in the fishing industry then they need to dump the proposed marine parks and support Australian fishermen.”