Fishers band together to create plan to fight reforms
CLARENCE River fishers hope to have a plan for the future after meeting with colleagues from Sydney to the Queensland border.
The meeting, which took place at the Sydney Fish Market yesterday, included a new peak body for the industry.
The new body was formed last week to rally against the proposed fishing reforms in New South Wales.
It includes the Clarence River Fishermen's Co-operative as well as the Commercial Fishermen's Association of NSW, Australian Marine Alliance, Professional Fishermen's Association, Indigenous Fishing Association, Women's Industry Seafood Council Fishing, the Hawkesbury Trawl Association and individual independent fishing businesses.
CRFC manager Danielle Adams and fishing manager Garry Anderson attended the meeting.
Ms Adams said the reforms, which fishers have totally rejected, have the potential to destroy the industry on the Clarence.
State Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis is also against the proposals, as is his fellow Nationals MP and former Minister for the North Coast Don Page.
They informed the minister a number of separate fishing industry associations would join together to come up with a better reform proposal.
Ballina Fishermen's Co-operative chairman Phil Hilliard said Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson supported the meeting.
"She admitted a lot of the options ... wouldn't work and they are willing to change some of the ones that we thought may work with a bit of tinkering," Mr Hilliard said.
Yesterday's meeting was compiling unified suggestions for the fishing reforms to present to the minister.
They have until May 30 before submissions close.
Mr Hilliard is hopeful the new peak body will stay intact after this issue is resolved.