Joe McLeod
Joe McLeod Renee Pilcher

Fishing worries to be heard at Tin Can Bay meeting

UPDATE: Wide Bay federal MP and Transport Minister Warren Truss will have his departmental eyes and ears present at a Tin Can Bay meeting of inshore small boat fishing operators on Saturday morning.

A spokesman for Mr Truss pointed out, however, that Mr Truss would not be attending in person, as previously reported.

For fishers using craft of less than 10m, the meeting will be a chance to make concerns known about proposed federal safety regulations which some say could send them broke.

The meeting will be attended by a representative of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which has proposed the changes.

The meeting is scheduled for 9am on Saturday at the Sleepy Lagoon Hotel at Tin Can Bay and fishers from Bundaberg to Caloundra are invited to attend.

EARLIER: Family fishing operators from Bundaberg to Caloundra have an important date on Saturday if they want to stay in business, says Tin Can Bay fisher Joe McLeod.

Mr McLeod says the meeting will be the best chance family fishing enterprises will have to turn around federal transport rule changes which could sink many of them.

The date is a meeting with Transport Minister Warren Truss's departmental eyes and ears.

"He's also our local MP for Wide Bay and he is the one who can make changes," Mr McLeod said.

He described the safety and licensing changes as a "Work for the Dole scheme for bureaucrats".

"A proposed ban on multiple licenses on a boat will mean someone who wants to catch fish and sometimes crabs will need two boats and will not be able to use their work boats for recreational purposes," he said.

A requirement that all boats be built to survey and inspected after repairs would mean an end to the home made craft which constitute most of the inshore fishing fleet.

Fishers will have a once only chance to change things at the meeting at the Sleepy Lagoon Hotel, Tin Can Bay, at 9am.

Gympie Times


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