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Fishers say GPC compensation scope is 'an insult'

Gladstone Fish Market owner Ted Whittingham and son Simon are devastated to close the doors of their Chapple Street business.
Gladstone Fish Market owner Ted Whittingham and son Simon are devastated to close the doors of their Chapple Street business. Tom Huntley

IT'S been 20 long months that Gladstone's commercial fishermen have waited for compensation.

None believe it will restore the income, livelihoods, and even relationships destroyed by what they claim is Gladstone Harbour's dredging debacle.

Gladstone Ports Corporation this week asked commercial fishermen to apply for compensation, for losses caused by development and dredging in the Western Basin of the harbour.

Queensland Seafood Industry Association chairman Dr Michael Gardiner said while money was welcome, the scope of compensation was too small.

"The GPC has just rolled us over, they've said that's it!"

Fishing businesses are only eligible for compensation if they can prove they operated within specific catch sites within Grid S30.

One third-generation fisherman said he was eligible, but he wasn't interested.

"There is no way I'm applying for it, it's an insult what they've done."

Ports Corp says fish market's a non-fishing business

GLADSTONE Fish Market owner Ted Whittingham shut the doors at his wholesale business three months ago - now the once-bustling warehouse is being gutted.

He said the GPC refused to discuss compensation for non-fishing businesses.

"That's despite the fact we derive all our income from the fishing industry."

A GPC spokesman said the current compensation package met the Coordinator-General's requirements.

Meanwhile, commercial fisherman Trevor Falzon will continue his legal claim against GPC.

GPC yesterday said the claim was called "frivolous and vexatious" in court.

But Mr Falzon is persisting, appealing in the Supreme Court.

"I will not withdraw until the fishermen of Gladstone get justice for what (GPC have) done to us."

"Families have gone broke, some have ended up in divorce, we've all had to get out of the harbour, that needs to be recognised."

Gladstone Fish Market owner Ted Whittingham and son Simon are devastated to close the doors of their Chapple Street business.
Gladstone Fish Market owner Ted Whittingham and son Simon are devastated to close the doors of their Chapple Street business. Tom Huntley

Topics:  commercial fishers, compensation, gladstone harbour, gladstone ports corporation, gpc



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