An aerial view of Gladstone Harbour.
An aerial view of Gladstone Harbour. Brenda Strong

GPC opens applications for commercial fisher compensation

GLADSTONE Ports Corporation has opened applications for compensation for commercial fishers who have lost access to fishing grounds because of the port expansion.

GPC says those holding fishing licenses for certain areas of the harbour will be compensated with 50% of the value of their annual catch, for their best two years of fishing there between 2005 and 2010.

GPC is the proponent for the Western Basin Dredging and Disposal Project, which is being undertaken to accommodate the long term dredging and disposal of dredged material that is required to provide safe vessel movement to the existing and proposed Gladstone Western Basin port facilities.

When the package was first unveiled in December, the Queensland Seafood Industry Association said fishers and other seafood business operators in the region were bitterly disappointed.

"What has been proposed by the GPC is completely inadequate and it is an insult to affected business operators and their families," QSIA chairman Michael Gardner said at the time.

GPC will be scheduling interviews in Gladstone in the weeks starting March 25 and April 8 for individuals wishing to obtain further information.

Fifty-five fishers, wholesalers and retail operators have launched legal action against the State Government for business losses.

More information: westernbasinportdevelopment.com.au/commercial-fisheries-compensation-program.



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