Mako legislation still stalled in Senate

As Fisho reported previously, debate on the mako shark amendment legislation has been delayed. This week Fisho learnt that despite being tabled for discussion in the Senate last month as reported, the issue is still to be debated.

A spokesman for Environment Minister Peter Garrett’s office told Fisho in late May catch & release fishing for makos is not likely to be affected by the Senate delay. He added that no enforcement action will be taken against organisers or participants of tournaments, “provided that appropriate measures are in place to minimise impacts, including promotion of sustainable fishing practices”.

Yesterday the same spokesman told Fisho, “having secured bipartisan support for this Bill we [Federal Government] expect to see it passed. With only limited time available in the Senate any delay tactics may jeopardise the Bill getting through.

“The government wants to see it passed. The obstruction and game playing of the majority parties in the Senate has slowed this and other important pieces of legislation down. We’ll be doing our utmost to see it passed as soon as possible to correct the deficiencies in the legislation as enacted by the Liberal party that led to this problem in the first place.”

Sarah Henderson, Liberal candidate for Corangamite in Victoria, a recreational shark fishing stronghold said, “Despite promising to do so, the Government has failed to prioritise Senate debate for the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Recreational Fishing for Mako and Porbeagle Sharks) Bill 2010.”

“It is now June, nearly five months after Minister Garrett made this absolute commitment. This is a government that cannot manage the business of government and that’s just not good enough,” Henderson said.

Fisho learnt today that Senate debate on the mako legislation has again been delayed until next week. We will keep you updated on any developments. 

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