Minister, please meet affected Lakes fishers
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Minister, please meet affected Lakes fishers

Victoria’s Fishing and Boating Minister has been asked to personally meet with the Gippsland Lakes commercial fishing licence holders that are subject to the State Government’s buyback.
Mr Bull used Parliament to ask Minister Jaala Pulford to visit Lakes Entrance to meet with licence holders subject to the netting ban, along with their families, only days after she announced – via radio – the proposed April 2020 exit date.
“My understanding is that the Minister has not had any discussions with these licence holders at all, either prior to the announcement, which was made on a metropolitan fishing show, or post the announcement,” Mr Bull told Parliament last week.
“The licence holders are very disappointed they had no contact from the Minister prior to the announcement and in fact they state that at a meeting at the Lakes Entrance Fishermen’s Co-Operative early last year, she advised there would be no announcements in relation to Gippsland Lakes commercial fishing licences pre-election.
“So given the claim no consultation took place prior and the Minister is yet to meet with this group personally, I asked her to commit to this.
“The Minister commented on ABC radio this week she had been ‘actively discouraged from talking to the fishers and instead encouraged to work through Seafood Industry Victoria’ but that is not the case.
“Licence holders are happy to be represented want Seafood Industry Victoria on certain elements, but the licence holders have always made it clear they wanted to personally meet with the Minister herself in relation to her decision and some specific aspects.
“They want to meet with you, Minister, and it is something you ought to do,” he said.
Mr Bull said had later had some brief discussions with the Minister on the matter and she had indicated she would make herself available to meet.
Mr Bull has also asked the Regional Development Minister when the $1.5 million earmarked for the proposed major LEFCOL upgrades will be provided.
“Just like the commercial netting ban, the then-Minister made this promise via a commercial fishing show without even speaking to LEFCOL board members, so I am interested to know when monies will be allocated as they are keen to get these proposed works underway,” he said.
“It appears they simply copied our pre-election commitment for this project, announcing it in Melbourne, with no contact immediately prior to, or after, the announcement.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, has urged Victoria’s Fishing and Boating Minister to meet with Gippsland Lakes commercial fishing licence holders as a matter of priority.
Monday, February 25, 2019