Government stalls on mako overturn


Colbeck says Garret should fast-track mako fishing legislation

Government stalls on mako overturn
Government stalls on mako overturn

Recreational fishermen face the prospect of not being legally able to catch mako sharks until after the next Federal election, after the Government decided to stall debate on legislation to overturn the ban, said Richard Colbeck, the Federal Coalition spokesman for Fisheries.

According to the Senator, the Government has bowed to the demands of the Greens to not prioritise Senate debate for the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Recreational Fishing for Mako and Porbeagle Sharks) Bill 2010 during the current sitting.

Colbeck said this would be a great disappointment for many recreational fishermen around Australia who keenly fished for mako sharks.

"There was no scientific evidence to support a ban on mako shark fishing. Yet Environment Minister Peter Garrett implemented a ban under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act starting from January 29, 2010," Colbeck said.

"A massive effort by recreational fishers… saw a grassroots campaign eventually force a backdown by Minister Garrett in January. Legislation to overturn the Minister's ban was not introduced to Parliament until the 25th of February — three sitting weeks following his backdown.

"Now the Labor Government has bowed to the demands of the Greens to not prioritise the legislation in the Senate, meaning the legislation is still not on the Senate's agenda — and may not be debated until after the June sitting weeks.

"If Mr Rudd calls an election for August or September, that means the legislation may not be debated until after the election and perhaps as late as 2011," Colbeck said.

Senator Colbeck said the Federal Coalition had asked the Government to prioritise the legislation and ensure it was passed by the Senate as soon as possible.

Bookmark and Share

 


Want the latest stories delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the free TradeBoats e-newsletter.