Greens have fishers seeing red
RICHMOND Greens candidate Joe Ebono was shoved and his leaflets torn up and thrown in his face as emotions boiled over at a fishing rally at Tweed Heads on Saturday.
Fishers gathered at the rally organised by Friends of Fishing and supported by Richmond Liberal candidate Joan van Lieshout to protest against a series of giant offshore marine parks being considered by the Federal Government.
The fishing industry fears the parks may turn into giant no-take zones, replicating on a vast scale the bitter process that led to the formation of the Cape Byron Marine Park by the NSW Government in 2004.
The Government denies this. Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Tony Burke, visiting Casino yesterday with Page MP Janelle Saffin, said ‘not one litre’ of ocean was planned or proposed to be turned into a no-take zone under the process.
The process began under the former Howard Government in 2006 and is aimed at protecting a representative sample of Australian marine environments to meet international treaty obligations.
Mr Burke was unable to guarantee the final product would not include no-take zones.
Mr Ebono said the fishers’ fear that they would lose their jobs was behind Saturday’s ugly scene.
“You have a guy who’s fished all his life, who is worried about losing his livelihood, and so they’re angry and upset,” he said. “But why they’re blaming The Greens I’ve no idea.”