Fisherman unhappy at spill result delays
By REN LANZONrlanzon@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
CHINESE New Year yesterday was not a happy one for fisherman Lance Hayward.
And the decision by Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) Minister Tim Mulherin to release the results of the first stage of testing of seafood samples after the recent oil spill in Brisbane rather than Gladstone tomorrow did not improve his temper.
Mr Hayward believed the announcement should be made in Gladstone where the spill occurred and where the people who were suffering its consequences lived.
Fishermen had been expecting the results to be released yesterday, as originally stated by the Minister's department, and the delay was not welcome.
Mr Hayward estimates he is poorer by $75,000 ? $45,000 to $50,000 in product and $23,000 spent in the effort to catch the fish ? as a result of the spill.
'I still have to pay my people for their work but I have nothing to sell,' he said.
Mr Hayward said he had planned all year for the recent catch which was destined to supply fish for the Chinese New Year.
'You get twice the price for the product this time of year so we were really depending on it.'
Yesterday Mr Mulherin announced he would hold a media conference in Brisbane this morning to reveal the results of the first samples.
'Staff from the DPI&F, Queensland Health and Queensland Maritime Safety have been working to ensure results are available as soon as possible,' he said.
'We must be absolutely sure whether or not products are contaminated.
'The only way to ensure that is to comprehensively analyse samples, not only of seafood, but also of the oil and water.'