Anglers warned over preference deals

ANGLERS voting in the upcoming federal election could unwittingly ensure further marine park lockouts due to complex and confusing preference deals in the Senate.

Veteran Nationals Senator Ron Boswell, a strident opponent of unjustified fishing bans, told Fisho last night that anglers voting for minor parties in the Senate risked playing “Russian roulette” due to the allocation of preferences.

“The distribution of preferences for the Senate is very complicated,” Senator Boswell said.

“At this election, there is a record number of parties and candidates running for just six Senate places in each of the states and two in each of the territories.

“As candidates are knocked out, their votes are re-distributed to other parties. Minor parties have done complex deals to share preferences between each other, so a voter who votes for a minor party really has no way of knowing where their vote will end up or who they will actually end up electing.”

The Senator’s comments follow news earlier this week that mining magnate Clive Palmer has done a preference deal with the Greens to support his nascent political party.

The preference issue comes as a brochure detailing potential marine park expansions is set for mass distribution. See the brochure HERE.

The brochure, organised by Senator Boswell’s office, focuses on a map released by national advocacy group Keep Australia Fishing (KAF) last week. See related stories HERE and HERE.
(Scroll down to hear election strategist Glenn Druery of on ABC radio discussing the role he sees minor parties and independents playing in the forthcoming election).

A KAF spokesman said the threat of further lockouts highlighted the importance of the angling vote at the September 7 poll.

“KAF is apolitical so we won’t be recommending one party over the other but it is obvious that some political parties are more angler friendly than others,” the KAF spokesman said.

“We’d recommend anglers voting on September 7 carefully study the policies and how to vote info supplied by the various parties.

“Only then can you be sure your vote goes where you want it to.”

Senator Boswell said he was concerned the various preference deals meant anglers voting against marine park lock-outs could actually end up giving power to parties which support fishing bans.

“The only way to get real action against ‘no fishing’ marine parks is to vote for the Liberals and Nationals,” the Senator said.


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