WA Labor’s extraordinary proposal to nationalise part of Western Australia’s rock lobster industry sets a dangerous precedent and must be stopped.
WA Labor Minister for Fisheries, Dave Kelly, plans to increase the annual allowable catch from 6,300 tonnes to 8,000 tonnes and to seize control of 17.3 per cent of the industry. This proposal would make the State Government the single biggest rock lobster fisher in WA.
Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, has declared his unwavering support for the WA rock lobster industry in its opposition to this radical proposal.
“That WA Labor thinks it is appropriate to be both regulator as well as the single biggest participant in an industry is extraordinary,” Mr Porter said.
“This is nothing more than a cash grab which risks destroying an entire industry and hurting hardworking West Australian families.
“The rock lobster industry in WA was formed on the back of over 70 years of blood, sweat and tears. These cray fishers, off their own back, have grown this industry into an incredible asset for our State, which is directly responsible for employing almost 2,500 West Australians.
“Now, Mark McGowan and Dave Kelly want to steal from these hardworking fishing families and destroy this iconic industry.”
Increasing the rock lobster quota to 8,000 tonnes will instantly dilute the rock lobster industry in Western Australia. Further, there are concerns that such a steep increase in quota will adversely affect the industry’s sustainability.
Fishing Families WA’s representative Clinton Moss said, “Generations of hardworking WA families have built this industry up over 70 years. It is a major employer, the backbone of many small towns up and down the coast, and a world leader in sustainability.
“This is a business that employs more West Australians than the big four banks, creates thousands of jobs in the regions, attracts tourists, and suddenly Dave Kelly decides the Government will take nearly 20 per cent for itself.”
You can voice your opposition to WA Labor’s radical proposal by sending your objection to WA Labor Minister for Fisheries, Dave Kelly, here: www.christianporter.com.au/clawsoffthecrays.