Burke bans anglers from Facebook page

TONY Burke is banning some anglers from making comments about the marine parks lockouts on his Facebook page. In retaliation, angling activists have formed a group called “We Got Banned From Tony Burke’s FB Page”, which currently has several hundred “likes”.

Fisho understands a number of anglers banned from the Environment Minister’s page have asked why they were gagged as the questions they posed were legitimate.
However, it’s understood other postings on Mr Burke’s page were inappropriate.

The Minister has made brief comments on some of the postings but most remain unanswered.

According to social media commentary, many of the anglers banned from Mr Burke’s page regard it as a “badge of honour”.

A variety of other online campaigns mocking Mr Burke and strongly critiquing his anti-fishing policies are currently active on social media forums.

The Facebook furore signals the deepening gulf between the angling community and the federal Government following Mr Burke’s recent decision to ban recreational fishing in 1.3 million square kilometres of Australian waters.

It is understood grass roots angling groups are planning to actively campaign against the Gillard Government in the lead up to the federal poll on September 14. One leading angling identity Fisho spoke with today said he had never seen the fishing community so “riled up”.

“The Labor Party has done a great job of really p***ing us all off. There is a visceral hatred about these marine park bans Burke has implemented. It’s really quite amazing to speak to even very moderate fishos and hear them talk in such a way. I honestly have never seen so many anglers so annoyed and angry.”

It is understood peak recreational fishing organisations remain open to overtures from the federal Government regarding discussion of policy issues.

“They are still the Government and of course we are happy to talk if and when they want to,” Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation MD Allan Hansard said today. “But we’ve been talking to them for a long time now and to date they haven’t taken any notice of what we’ve got to say. Unless something radical happens, I can’t see much is going to change in that regard. Mr Burke has made his position clear – he and his Government want to lock us out. I’m not sure more talking will result in productive or meaningful outcomes. That said, our door is always open.”

According to recent polls, the Government faces an election wipeout at the September poll. The Opposition has promised to review the recreational fishing bans if it wins power.
The “We Got Banned From Tony Burke’s FB Page” can be viewed HERE.

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