THE Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA) has welcomed reports that a new compensation offer will be put to seafood businesses affected by port development in Gladstone.
"QSIA would expect that any new proposal would deal with a proper assessment of the real impact to fishermen and associated seafood businesses in Gladstone that have been decimated by the Gladstone port development," Association spokesman Michael Gardner said today.
He was responding to news reports in which Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) Chief Executive Officer Leo Zussino said the corporation is "finalising with the new Queensland Government a proposal to put out in the marketplace".
"The QSIA certainly would be interested to look at any new proposals for compensation put forward by Mr Leo Zussino of the GPC," Mr Gardner said.
"The previous steering committee process to determine compensation for fishers was flawed due to clearly inadequate amounts of money offered to only some of the businesses affected and a 'take it or leave it' attitude by the GPC.
"Businesses and people's lives in Gladstone have been disrupted and destroyed by the impacts of port development on our industry. While dealing in billion-dollar development projects, GPC so far has not properly assessed and assisted in dealing with the multiple impacts suffered by the seafood industry. This is despite the fact these impacts probably amount to a relative pittance compared with the tens of billions involved in port development."
Mr Gardner said he believed the fact there is legal action being taken by a group of fishermen, independent of the formal compensation process, reflects the failure of this process to address real issues and impacts.
"Fishermen and related businesses are being starved out by the loss of income while the whole compensation process drags on, so it is important that meaningful negotiations be held involving realistic sums of money reflecting the significant damage done to the industry by port development."