News

Govt to maintain ban on commercial nets in creeks, estuaries

SANITY prevails.

That's how The Northern Star's fishing correspondent, Tony Zann, responded to the State Government's announcement it will retain a ban on commercial netting in sensitive creeks and estuaries.

In 2012 the government's Report of Commercial Fisheries Policy, Management and Administration suggested opening up the Evans River, Jerusalem Creek (in Bundjalung National Park), Mooball Creek, Cudgen Creek and others to commercial netting.

But on Thursday, Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson announced the existing bans would remain in place, saying it followed recommendations from the Structural Adjustment Review Committee.

Mr Zann labelled the initial proposal "ridiculous" and said Evans Head relies on tourism dollars, partly due to recreational fishing, to keep the town alive.

"There's talk about bringing more people to the area, like Ballina, but you can't even really fish there because there's so much commercial fishing going on and the water quality is not good," the Evans Head fisherman said.

"If this went ahead we would have seen a drastic decline in our tourism industry.

"If anything, all these waterways need to be made recreational fishing havens to prevent them from overexploitation and under-management."

Despite the welcome news, Mr Zann was concerned Ms Hodgkinson made no mention of an additional proposal to allow commercial trapping of crabs and fish.

Richmond Valley Anglers Action Group spokesman John Larsson said the announcement was good news and he would keep a close eye on how the government proceeds with further reform.

Ms Hodgkinson said the NSW Government had listened to feedback and issues raised as part of a comprehensive consultation process.

"During this consultation process, concerns were raised about commercial industry driven proposals in the reform option papers to allow the use of meshing nets in certain estuaries where it is currently not permitted," Ms Hodgkinson said.

She claimed continued reforms in the commercial fishing industry are necessary because of mistakes made by the Labor government.

"Labor got the commercial fishing industry into a mess by over-allocating shares in 2007 and bungling a $1.5 million exit grant process in 2010," she said.

The NSW Nature Conservation Council campaigns director Daisy Barham was pleased to see the government renege on the plan and said it should have never been suggested.

Topics:  fishing



Why this person will be banned from Ballina shopping centre

Police have also been told about the situation

Lismore ED staffing issues resolved at eleventh hour

Exterior of Lismore Base Hospital.

Urgent understaffing issues resolved

Plans for new Ballina servo shut down

Ballina Council Chambers 2012. Photo: Photo Doug Eaton / The Ballina Shire Advocate

DA was "controversial" and a petition had been signed by 650 people

Local Partners

Children rock loudly with Bunny Racket from today

Bangalow's Andy Walker is King Bunny, the star of new children's music project Bunny Racket, playing at Little Splendour last July.

The project includes Robby Krieger of The Doors, among others

Circus, opera merge in Norpa spectacular

Circa performers Nicole Faubert, Bridie Hooper, Brittannie Portelli, and Nathan Boyle are appearing in Il Ritorno at the Lismore City Hall as part of the Norpa season.

Il Ritorno is a classic tale of love, loss and longing

What's on the big screen this week

Mel Gibson and Diego Luna in a scene from the movie Blood Father.

THREE new thrillers open in cinemas today.

Love is in the air on The Bachelor, but not for Kiki

The Bachelor Australia contestant Kirralee 'Kiki' Morris.

BACHELORETTE bows out gracefully as show enters its final weeks.

A $65,000 bathroom? The Block's incredible budget blow-outs

The Block contestants Julia and Sasha spent a whopping $65,000 on their first renovated room.

TEAMS deliver most expensive en-suites in reno show's history.

How high? Twin 20-storey high-rises plan for "over 50s"

A development application has been lodged with the Fraser Coast Regional Council to build two skyscrapers in Hervey Bay.

Developer says Bay needs to move with the times.

Australia's most expensive balcony and it hasn't been built

Viridian Noosa.

How Noosa millionares' squabble could affect body corporates

Receivers move in on Springfield's 'Tower of Power'

The 10-storey tower at Springfield is up for sale with interest high in the iconic structure.

Interest high in iconic 10-storey office building

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia