Commercial fishers not consulted

Fishing and Boating Minister, Jaala Pulford, has confirmed she did not consult with Gippsland Lakes fishers prior to announcing the compulsory buy out of their Gippsland Lakes licences.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said regardless of personal viewpoints on the matter, it was disgraceful the licence holders, whose livelihoods were being taken away, were not spoken to.
Mr Bull, asked Ms Pulford in Parliament (1) what consultation she had with licence holders and (2) what consultation she had with Seafood Industry Victoria prior to the decision.
“Ms Pulford’s response was that she met with Seafood Industry Victoria to discuss ‘future management of the Gippsland Lakes’.
“This would indicate her meeting with SIV did not discuss this specific matter and it also confirms what the licence holders have been saying – that they were not consulted at all.
“Whilst I understand this compulsory buy-out is going ahead and respect there are differing views in the community, this isn’t about revisiting the “for and against” arguments – we are now past that point – this is simply about common courtesy,” he said.
The Liberal Nationals also had a policy to reduce commercial fishing through a voluntary buy out, forming this policy after discussions with the commercial and recreational sector representatives.
Mr Bull said he would continue to work with those families exiting the industry to secure what will hopefully be a fair exit package and was pleased the Minister finally met with commercial fishers last week.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, has criticised Victoria’s Fishing and Boating Minister for not consulting with Gippsland Lakes commercial fishing licence holders, prior to announcing the compulsory buy back of their licences.
Monday, March 18, 2019