Spanish mackerel consultation is invitation only
21st April 2022
Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Deputy Leader and Hinchinbrook MP, Nick Dametto, is infuriated after hearing that Fisheries Queensland will hold an ‘invitation only’ consultation meeting between the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) and selected fishers in Townsville today regarding the Spanish mackerel fishery.
Information circulating from the Queensland Seafood Industry Association is that only selected fishers were invited to a meeting with Fisheries Queensland to discuss the proposed management changes to the Spanish mackerel fishery.
The meeting is scheduled for 21 April 2022 between 1.00pm and 2.00pm in Townsville.
The Hinchinbrook MP said it is extremely disappointing that DAF has not made this a more open and transparent process between commercial and recreational fishers that would be negatively impacted by the proposed Spanish mackerel quota reductions.
“We have commercial fishers who are contemplating the future of their business and fish and chip retailers that have already lost their Spanish mackerel suppliers due to the proposed quota reductions. And of course, everyday consumers of Spanish mackerel who will be impacted by the price increase.
“All these stakeholders must be consulted and have an opportunity to speak directly with the Department in a public forum.
“Consultation is an opportunity to attain feedback from the public and it should be open to all affected individuals, not those who are exclusively selected by the Department.
“The Department has only rubbed salt in the wound by not allowing all stakeholders to have their voices heard on such an important issue.
“Whether we are talking about mismanagement of the Queensland Spanish mackerel industry or skewed numbers to close the industry, there has been a lack of transparency that has occurred.
“It appears that the Department is trying to control and whitewash the discussion and debate around the issue, which demonstrates a lack of integrity.”
Mr Dametto said he had little faith in the Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries.
“The Minister should be facing the music and talking directly to those who will be affected by the proposed quota reduction. And if he isn’t, he should at least have the decency to ensure his Departmental henchmen are conducting consultation that passes the pub test.
The KAP is calling on the Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, the Hon. Mark Furner to ensure that DAF holds a public consultation meeting where all stakeholders have the opportunity to have their voices heard and questions answered.
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