Business

VIDEO: Net-free zones will ruin my life, fisherman says

Tannum Sands commercial fisherman Dane King is fighting a losing battle trying to keep his nets in the water.
Tannum Sands commercial fisherman Dane King is fighting a losing battle trying to keep his nets in the water. Paul Braven

TANNUM Sands commercial fisherman Dane King has been fishing the area from Yeppoon to Curtis Island for 17 years.

He has invested at least $500,000 in his business and says if the State Government's proposed net-free zones go ahead - which is expected - his life and his livelihood will be ruined.

He stands to lose the majority of his fishing grounds and everything he has worked for.

Three days before the state government election, the Labor party announced it planned to introduce three net-free zones.

Those zones cover Trinity Bay near Cairns, St Helen's Beach north of Mackay and a large area from Yeppoon down to The Narrows at the northern end of Curtis Island.

The government has also allocated $10 million in this year's budget to buy back some of the commercial fishing licences.

Mr King says the area that affects Gladstone fishermen the most, from Yeppoon to Curtis Island, is eight times larger than the others.

"It's not a job. It's a lifestyle and we stand to lose that," Mr King said.

"I have worked hard to be able to have the kind of life where I am out working on the water and they are just going to take it away, without even talking to us about it first."

This week the Minister for Agriculture Bill Byrne announced the results of a survey (consulting on the boundaries of the zones) that was launched two months ago.

There were 6300 people who responded to that survey. The minister says 90% of respondents were in favour of the boundaries of the net-free zones.

"….this is a policy that has resonated with the people of Queensland," Minister Byrne said.

Only 4% of the people who responded to the survey were commercial fishermen, 49% identified as recreational fishers, 33% as the general public, 13% as conservationist and 1% as indigenous fishers or charter fishing businesses.

There has been heavy criticism from the commercial fishing industry over a lack of consultation.

Queensland Seafood Association President Karen Collard said despite multiple requests for meetings with Queensland Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne the commercial industry has been ignored.

The QSIA has labelled the way these net-free zones have been introduced as "bad policy" which has alienated the commercial industry.

"The Queensland Seafood Industry Association has consistently called for 'real' consultation and two way dialogue between government and commercial fishers.

"So far our requests for meetings before and during the submission process have been ignored by Minister Byrne," Karen Collard said.

"The only time I have had with the minister was 15 minutes the morning of a community cabinet meeting in Townsville in March. That can in no way be considered consultation from an industry perspective."

A final decision is yet to be made on the boundaries of the zones.

Topics:  commercial fishing, environment, net free zones, queensland government




The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

Researchers baffled to why Lady Elliott manta is pink: Watch

UNIQUE: Clouseau, the pink under-bellied manta ray, has been spotted twice at Lady Elliott Island.

A unique creature is offshore Lady Elliott Island

The beauty trend quickly taking over Gladstone faces

Cosmetic tattooing has been around for years, and was at its peak popularity 20 years ago, according to tattooist and beauty therapist Georgi.

AND more experts in the field are moving to Gladstone

Latest deals and offers

Johnny Depp 'deeply respects' Amber Heard

Celebrity

Amber Heard gives away $7 million settlement to charity

The true cost of 60 Minutes debacle revealed

It's a bill that would make even a silk tied barrister blush

Aussie rapper in town for first ever Gladstone show

HE'S BACK: Drapht returns to the stage with his first Gladstone show this Friday.

Catch Drapht for his first Gladstone show this Friday night.

Kirk Douglas is defiant, fierce and still standing

VETERAN ACTOR: Kirk Douglas has had a long and varied career.

Kirk Douglas has out-lived almost all his contemporaries

The Hard Word reviews Kyzer Soze

Kyzer Soze are playing Brisbane tomorrow at the Crowbar in Fortitude Valley. Photo Contributed

Kyzer Soze summon the evil for this mighty slab of death metal

Britney Spears 'almost drowned' in Hawaii

Britney Spears has revealed she 'almost drowned' while on holiday

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Gladstone landlords in trouble with Bechtel job losses

"If a big project was announced tomorrow I wouldn't want to see it"

Coast building approvals at seven-year high: report

The the 2015/16 Development Indicators Annual Highlights Report documents local development activity that took place during the last financial year.

New report shows increasing development on the Sunshine Coast

Top honours for Mackay and Whitsunday builders

The Kerrisdale Gardens property from Paynter Dixon Queensland which won them Project of the Year.

Mackay and Whitsunday builders awarded top honours last night.