Fishermen wary of latest changes



AFTER at least two years of change after change, Gladstone fishermen were clearly wary over drafted changes discussed in yesterday's meeting with the government.

The main discussion points of the meeting were amended proposals of fee changes which stagger the introduction of fishery access fees.

Fisherman Allan Holland was encouraged by the changes but still concerned about his livelihood.

Mr Holland fishes 'a bit of everything' and said fishermen's rights looked set to improve as the discussion showed fishermen could keep their symbols.

As far as fees were concerned, Mr Holland and the other fishermen could all agree "no one likes their fees to go up'.

'You always worry about what they've got in store for you,' Mr Holland said.

Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA) CEO Karin Schiller was at yesterday's Gladstone port meeting and heard discussion over the proposed fee changes.

She said fishermen were much calmer in this round of meetings.

'Fishers are pleased the department has listened to their views,' Ms Schiller said.

However, Ms Schiller said she, and the industry, wanted to know more about the details.

Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries Policy and Sustainability general manager Col Bishop presented the outcomes from the previous round of meetings and discussed fishing rights, compensation issues and alternative licence and fee arrangements.

Mr Bishop said the meetings had been fairly positive.



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