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Monday, 26 November 2012
Page: 13282


Mr NEUMANN (Blair) (11:30): They cannot even defend their own state government's policies. As a fellow Queenslander I thank the member for Capricornia for making this House aware of the needless pain and anxiety experienced by public sector workers, by community groups, by service providers and by ordinary men and women in the fishing industry perpetrated and perpetuated by Campbell Newman and the LNP state government across Queensland. In my electorate, whether you are in the rural parts or in urban parts like Ipswich, the sentiment is the same; the common complaint is the same; the refrain is the same: Campbell Newman and the state LNP government in Queensland have betrayed the people of Queensland. It is not just union members, public sector workers and community sector workers; it is also recreational fisher men and women. Campbell Newman and the LNP government have misled them all. The LNP's own policy document for the state election said:

An LNP government will also commit to no forced redundancies.

What a joke! The Premier of Queensland also said, in April 2011, when he took over the role as LNP leader:

… the public service has nothing to fear from me.

What right-wing claptrap! It is not just bureaucrats, it is not just fat cats—as he would describe them—it is doctors and nurses, it is rural fire brigade officers, it is community workers and it is even recreational fishers. Perhaps he considers Sunfish Queensland to be a bastion of highly paid officials all living large of the public largesse. You will even hear that from the tone of those opposite. Before the Queensland election, the LNP told recreational fishers that 'an LNP government will work closely with stakeholders to enhance the experience of recreational fishers in Queensland'. At best, that is another broken promise; at worst, that is an example of blatant disregard for honesty within the Queensland LNP state government.

In contrast, this federal Labor government, despite the bleatings, whinings and moanings of those opposite, is a strong supporter of the Australian recreational fishing industry. We developed and held recreational fishing roundtables chaired by the federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joseph Ludwig, bringing the sector straight to government. We supported the National Recreational Fishing Conference and we funded and implemented the national strategy for recreational fishing. At present we are engaged in the biggest single review of fisheries legislation in the history of the Commonwealth and we are looking at how the recreational sector fits into that framework. We have been able to balance the needs and rights of recreational fishers with the need to protect the environment. In Queensland, the LNP government has slashed and burned—not just in the public sector but also across the recreational fishing industries.

We know that the arrogant actions of the LNP state government in Queensland will be replicated by those opposite. We cannot trust anything their state colleagues in Queensland say, nor their federal counterparts. More hollow words and spin we have heard from the member for Herbert and the member for Dawson today.

But what have the LNP state government in Queensland done? They have cut $8 million from the fisheries budget. They have cut 60 jobs. They have ceased the fisheries observer program. They have ceased the Queensland Fishcare volunteers program. They have ceased operational activity for waterway barrier works and construction. They have cut all funding to the national Fisheries Research and Development Corporation. Again and again they have slashed and burned. They have not provided funding for the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation this year and they have axed all funding to Sunfish Queensland.

The stakeholders are livid about this. Look at what they have said. Mr Robin Caddy, President of the Freshwater Fishing and Stocking Association of Queensland, said—as quoted in Bush 'n Beach Fishing magazine—of the cuts by the LNP state government: 'To be treated in this manner is deplorable.' Mr David Bateman, the chair of Sunfish, said that his delegates 'were astounded that the government's first action was to cut recreational fishing community projects', as quoted in that same magazine. Sunfish also said a recent letter from the LNP state minister in Queensland, Minister McVeigh, was full of 'electioneering, half-truths and inaccuracies'. The Queensland Seafood Industry Association, in its media release of 27 September, said this: 'The Queensland Seafood Industry Association has expressed serious concern about cutbacks to services announced in Fisheries Queensland. In particular, discontinuing the fisheries observer program and withdrawing funding to the federal government's Fisheries Research and Development Corporation are worrying.' That is what the stakeholders say. Those opposite cannot quote stakeholders, we know, because the stakeholders are livid with what they have done. They go on with their disingenuous argument, completely scaremongering, about what we have done in terms of Coral Sea Marine Park announcements and management.

The member for Herbert in his speech told the truth when it came to the distances and the fact that these marine parks will do good for the environment, but they will not impinge on the recreational fishing industry. Those opposite should stand up to Campbell Newman and stand up for Queensland.