Agricultural Region MLC Rick Mazza of the Shooter’s Fishers and Farmers Party’s disallowance motion to re-instate fishers back into Greens Pool, a picturesque beach 14 kilometres from Denmark, has been unsuccessful after a vote held yesterday in the Legislative Council.
Parliamentarians voted to continue Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly’s year round fishing ban at the location. Mr Mazza said the outcome was disappointing as it sets a dangerous precedent going forward for all shared use locations throughout Western Australia.
“This decision effectively sanctions the Minister to enact bans on the Western Australian coastline for fishing without relying on valid scientific evidence or thorough community consultation. The Minister has relied on a petition signed by 969 people to assert his decision which is not a reflection of all stakeholders’ interests,” Mr Mazza said.
Mr Mazza added he received feedback from a number of key stakeholders, including Recfishwest, arguably the preeminent representative body for recreational fishers in Western Australia, and Mr Scott Coghlan, the editor of the Western Angler, a magazine that has been popular for more than 30 years with the fishing community.
“Both believed there were alternative options to a full ban at Greens Pool that would have met the needs of all stakeholders, including a seasonal closure, which the Minister would not entertain,” Mr Mazza said.
“I also met with and received correspondence from a local fisher and regular Greens Pool user who based on his extensive local knowledge, contended Elephant Rocks, Madfish Bay and Waterfall Beach were not safe year-round alternatives to Greens Pool. By voting against my disallowance motion, interested parties such as Recfishwest have been denied a part in how any restrictions or bans in this area are shaped.”
Mr Mazza said he was disappointed the Liberal and National parties did not support the disallowance motion that would have provided an opportunity to re-start a consultation process that included all stakeholders.