People convicted of fishing in a green zone within the Great Barrier Reef have not had their convictions “spent” and have been left hanging on the hook according to Nationals Senator Ron Boswell.
“Over 300 people convicted of fishing in a green zone prior to December 2006 have not had their convictions ‘spent’ even after the passing of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2008 (GRMPA), which removed criminal convictions,” Boswell said.
“Delays by the Rudd Government in proclaiming the legislation will mean that convicted fishermen will have to wait until the 25th of November 2009 before they will have their convictions removed.”
Boswell confirmed in the May Budget Estimate hearings that the GBRMPA legislation that was passed by both houses in November 2008 is yet to be proclaimed.
“In response to questions in Budget Estimates, I was assured that when a person’s conviction eventually becomes ‘spent’, the person will not suffer any negative repercussions from having had a conviction recorded. Any searches on a person’s criminal history will reveal no information on the past recording of a conviction.” said Boswell.
“I have had many enquiries about people concerned about their ‘criminal record’. Understandably these people have been quite anxious about the repercussions of their convictions, which have not become ‘spent’ yet.”
Aerial shot of Great Barrier Reef by Scott Thomas.