GPC reopens compensation program for commercial fishers

GLADSTONE Ports Corporation has reopened its program offering to pay compensation to commercial fishers impacted by a dredging program in Gladstone harbour.

This time though, the GPC is opening up the program not just to those who missed out the first time around, but also those who fall outside the guidelines but believe they have special circumstances.

The move to reopen the program was in response to recent requests from commercial fishers.

GPC opened the program in March to offer compensation for commercial fishers who had lost access to fishing grounds because of the port expansion.

The initial round of applications for the Western Basin Dredging and Disposal Project Commercial Fisheries Compensation Program closed in May, but new applicants will now have until Friday, October 11, to apply for compensation.

The first-round offer attracted 24 applications, but at the time fishermen weren't happy with the process.

A GPC spokesman said the compensation was fair.

He said an example of a special circumstance case was where an individual or entity conducted commercial fishing activities under an "informal" leasing arrangement that wasn't registered with the Queensland Fisheries department.

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