Net Free Area disallowance motion snubs recreational fishers and environmentalists.

MEDIA RELEASE 17/09/2015

Cairns and Far North Environment Centre (CAFNEC) is today expressing dismay at a disallowance motion tabled by the LNP opposition in an attempt to derail the legislation necessary to implement 3 Net Free Areas in Queensland, including one for the Cairns / Trinity Bay area.

CAFNEC Director Josh Coates said:

“This is a cynical political move and is a huge snub to the many people who have worked for years to see this common sense approach to resource sharing and environmental protection in areas under significant environmental pressure.

Attempts to block the Net Free Areas fly in the face of the Reef 2050 plan which refers to the Net Free Areas.

The LNP is saying there has not been enough consultation but this is just not the case as there has been much opportunity for input and discussion in recent months and years. The recent submission process showed overwhelming community support – in the order of 90% support for the Net Free Areas.

Arguments that compensation is not adequate do not stand up to scrutiny with figures being mentioned well in excess of the amounts offered in recent net buy-back processes.

Net Free Areas will help protect local fish populations, marine mammals like dugongs and will be good for recreational fishers and fishing tourism. Commercial fishers will still be able to operate in less heavily fished areas and the scare campaign regarding supplies of fish for local markets does not hold water.

CAFNEC is proud to stand alongside recreational fishers including the local CAREFISH group in calling on the LNP to support the environment and recreational fishing community in implementing these zones.”

Media contact: Josh Coates, Director, (07) 4032 1586, director [at]

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