Pollies promise netting buybacks in election lead-up

IN THE lead-up to the Queensland election on March 24, both Premier Anna Bligh and opposition leader Campbell Newman have announced schemes to buy out commercial fishing licences in the state.

In a move that could lure votes from the rec fishing and environmental sectors, both leaders have announced voluntary buyback schemes for inshore netting licences held by commercial fishermen along the state’s coast.

Ms Bligh has reportedly offered $10 million for a buyout scheme while Liberal National Party leader Campbell Newman, is offering $9 million.

Each scheme has the potential to halve the state’s 400 licence holders.

In a further boost to the LNP, Member for Cleveland, and Shadow Ministers for Main Roads, Fisheries and Marine Infrastructure, Mark Robinson has announced the party’s $120 million package to build more boat ramps, artificial reefs, fishing pontoons and deepen channels over the next four years.

“This is part of the LNP’s commitment to fix two decades of neglect of marine infrastructure under this tired, 20-year Labor government,” Dr Robinson said.

The Marine Infrastructure Fund will spend $120 million over four years to improve access to Queensland’s marine environment.

Fifty million dollars will go to small marine infrastructure such as boat ramps and fishing pontoons.

“We will work with fishing and boating groups and responsible environmental advocates to achieve common sense and value-for-money outcomes,” said Dr Robinson.

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