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We're supporting WA's rock lobster industry

11 January 2019

The latest policy announcement by State Labor Government Minister Dave Kelly regarding his decision to seize 17 per cent of the State's rock lobster catch raises serious concerns for other industries and for the State’s reputation as a jurisdiction of low sovereign risk.


The decision is unfair, heavy-handed and inappropriate. The Minister should not be dabbling in an already highly volatile industry. It is especially concerning that this decision is happening just as the industry has returned to a sustainable and profitable position. Like many in the industry, I am concerned that increasing the TACC to 8,000 tonnes will undo all the hard work put into the industry by Cray fisherman and will put the industry at risk.
 
It is obvious there has been no meaningful consultation with the sector on this and no detailed planning. The Minister has given no detail of how he plans to catch, process and distribute these hundreds of tonnes of ‘people’s’ lobsters.
 
It is clear from consultation I have had with the Western Rock Lobster Council and Western Australian Fishing Industry Council, that the Government did not engage with either of these peak bodies in the development of this policy.

The failure to pull Dave Kelly into line is a failure of Mark McGowan’s leadership. How bad does he have to get before the Premier intervenes?
 
Last year Kelly hit struggling families with massive water fee hikes and dragged his feet on shark mitigation.
 
Now he is targeting our farmers through hiked water charges and has launched an unprecedented attack on the rock lobster industry, pearling industry and recreational fishers.
 
Mark McGowan must pull his Minister into line.

 

Ian Blayney MLA
Shadow Minister for Fisheries

 

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