Keep Australia Fishing launches election campaign

KEEP Australia Fishing (KAF), the peak national advocacy group for Australia’s 5 million recreational fishers, is calling for a real change in government attitudes toward Australia’s recreational fishing community at the September 7 poll.

Launching a media campaign for the upcoming election, KAF chairman Neil Patrick said “Australia’s recreational fishers were sick and tired of being used as political currency by a minority government, with their rights being traded away in back room deals to meet the demands of anti-fishing interests.

“Over the past three years we have seen a severe erosion of our fishing rights under a Labor–Greens Coalition. Indiscriminate marine park lock outs and the arrival of the super trawler are key examples of how our rights have been ignored,” Patrick said.

“The media campaign that we are launching today will cover TV, radio, newspapers and social media. The message the campaign delivers is a clear one. We seek a Government that:

  • Understands and supports recreational fishers;
  • Will not indiscriminately lock recreational fishers out of marine parks;
  • Will not allow super trawlers or other industrial fishing operations to degrade our fisheries;
  • Recognises Australia’s recreational fishers for their significant contribution to the economy, environment and the social fabric of the community.

“We ask all recreational fishers to consider these issues before they cast their vote on September 7.

“At present there is a clear divergence in what the major parties offer recreational fishers. On the one hand, the Labor Government has sided with the anti-fishing lobby to lock Australia’s recreational fishers out of 1.3 million square kilometres of our seas, without any scientific reason.

“If re-elected, will Mr Rudd again side with the Greens to institute more bans and lock ups?

“On the other hand, the Liberal-National Coalition has pledged a scientific review of the marine park process, with consideration for recreational fishers, if elected. We commend the Liberal-National Coalition for listening to our requests in this regard.

“We are still seeking a clear statement from both parties on the super trawler issue.
Neither major party has released its recreational fishing policy and we are hoping our campaign will expedite their response.” KAF’s Neil Patrick concluded.

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