Rally to save Cronulla Fisheries Research Centre

THE NSW government has recently announced that it will close the Cronulla Fisheries Research Centre of Excellence and relocate staff to regional areas.

The Centre is a unique and iconic institution and the location for research towards sustainable management of fisheries resources for more than 110 years.

The facilities at the Cronulla site are among the most modern and effective in Australia, including a state-of-the-art, heritage-listed laboratory valued at over $1 million. The Centre’s staff are recognised as some of the world’s best in fisheries science and fisheries management.

Relocation of the services provided by Cronulla Fisheries Centre to regional areas will:
1) cost tax payers approximately $9.1 million.
2) cost 150 local jobs and millions of dollars of expenditure for local businesses.
3) force most of the staff to retire or resign, leading to the loss of world-class, scientific expertise and knowledge on the management of NSW fish stocks – risking the sustainable use of the state’s fisheries resources and impacting on provision of internationally renowned recreational fishing.
4) reduce services and delivery of critical programs for recreational fishers, the majority of which live and fish in the Sydney area.
5) reducing services for commercial fishers by limiting communication between commercial fishers, fisheries managers and fisheries scientists.
6) break down important partnerships between the Centre and collaborative institutions, such as the six Sydney-based Universities and many local schools.

Staff at the Cronulla Fisheries Centre say the decision to close the facility has been made without consultation of the community, staff, recreational fishers or commercial fishers and has failed to identify alternative uses for the site. Over 10,000 people have now signed a petition asking the government to reverse the decision to close the Centre and retain all services at the current location. A community rally will be held today to demand a reversal of the decision.

Save Cronulla Fisheries Centre Rally
When: 12:30-2:00, Tuesday 27 September, 2011

Where: Cronulla Mall Auditorium. Cronulla St, Cronulla

Speakers: NSW Shadow Minister for Resources & Primary Industries the Hon. Steve Whan, NSW Department of Primary Industries Director for Fisheries Research Prof. Steve Kennelly, Assistant General Secretary of NSW Public Service Association Mr. Shane O’Brien, Vice President of ANSA NSW – Australian National Sportfishing Association Ltd Mr. John Burgess, Commercial Fisher and former Chair of the Lobster Management Advisory Committee Mr. Ron Firkin, Academic from the School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of New South Wales Prof. Iain Suthers, Vice-President of the Marine Teachers Association of NSW Mr. Greg McNeil and Mayor for Cronulla Clr. Carol Provan.


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