Commercial Fishing Restructure Concerns

PORT Stephens MP Kate Washington
PORT Stephens MP Kate Washington

PORT Stephens MP Kate Washington headed to State Parliament with a group of concerned commercial fishers and their families last week,  to voice their anguish and frustration with the NSW Government’s new restructure of the industry.

Of primary concern, is the  Adjustment Subsidy Program.

While the Baird Government is providing a $16 million package to assist commercial fishers to transition into the new share program, Labor believes it could cost some fishers up to $450,000 to buy shares and to operate as they have done in the past.

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Members of the Greens, Christian Democrat Party, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers parties attended the meeting.

Among those to address the packed room in Parliament House, was 13 year old Maddison Blanch, daughter of a commercial fisher.

“My father is a 3rd generation fisher,” she said.

“My Dad loves what he does but, because of reforms, my dad needs to buy more shares to continue to work as he does now for 2017.   So basically he needs to buy back his job.”

The Adjustment Subsidy scheme is due to begin this week.

 

By: Margie TIERNEY

 

 

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