Fisheries staff expect to learn fate before Christmas

CRONULLA Fisheries Research Centre staff are expected to learn before Christmas whether the NSW Government’s decision to decommission the facility will be reversed.

Following a protest against the closure at Parliament House last week a spokesperson from Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner’s office confirmed the closure had been put on hold until the government responded to the upper house inquiry report.

The government’s response was expected to be given ”shortly”.

The Reverend Fred Nile, chairman of the upper house inquiry, which recommended the closure decision be reversed, told a rally of around 200 staff and supporters outside Parliament House last Wednesday that the government had agreed to put the move ”on hold” while the report was considered.

Mr Nile said he had been ”speaking to the Premier and trying to get it into his head that this is a bad decision”.

The Leader reports Premier O’Farrell had agreed to a staff delegation meeting, which was still to be arranged.

However, in a worrying development for Fisheries staff the Sydney Morning Herald has reported that the “Cronulla fisheries move is still on”.

“Staff at the Cronulla Fisheries Research Centre and a key cross bench MP are furious the relocation is still going ahead despite a pledge from the government it was on hold.

“…executive director of NSW Fisheries Dr Geoff Allan informed staff the only thing on hold was the decommissioning of plant and equipment on the site, according to a leaked staff email.

“Mr Nile said on Friday he had written to the Deputy Premier demanding an explanation,” the Herald reported.

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