DYING DAYS: A trawler off Fraser Island may be the last of its kind if big corporate interests get to own the fishery.
DYING DAYS: A trawler off Fraser Island may be the last of its kind if big corporate interests get to own the fishery. Jolana Jenkins

'Fraud' call over state fishing reform plan

TIN Can Bay's historically significant inshore net fishing resource could soon be foreign owned, under a plan bureaucrats say people want.

Long-term industry advocate Joe McLeod said yesterday the planned laws would effectively confiscate private property and turn it over to market forces, which could ultimately be foreign controlled.

He said some small operators, including him, had experienced their fishing licences being confiscated under a series of rationalisation plans.

These licences had been purchased, stamp duty paid and they were private property, now being taken by "fraud".

He called for a Crime and Corruption Commission inquiry into the State Government's treatment of the inshore fishing industry, which produces the state's whiting and barramundi.

Mr McLeod said the fishery was now headed for packaging as a privately owned resource which could be sold to interstate and even foreign interests.

The government's departmental advisers had ignored concerns from the industry and the public, while "going through the motions of consultation".

Mr McLeod said the government's advisers insisted people wanted the new system.

Gympie Times


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