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Australia to help tsunami-affected fishermen.

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Last updated: 21 January 2005

Australia to help tsunami-affected fishermen

DAFF05/003M 21 January 2005

Many Australians involved in recreational and commercial fishing want to help the tsumani victims who have lost most of their productive fishing capacity.

The Australian Government will co-ordinate this assistance by working with the States to collect fishing gear and equipment, which commercial and recreational fishers have offered to donate.

It is important to send only those items that are required in the disaster areas, and for this purpose the Australian Government is currently undertaking a stock-take of fishing and aquaculture equipment destroyed by the tsunami.

As I publicly said a couple of days after the tragedy, the Australian Government should only respond to requests for aid to ensure that the aid provided complements rather than hinders the relief effort.

Although the Australian fishing industry is doing it tough, they were one of the first to offer assistance after the disaster struck.

I would ask recreational and commercial fishermen with surplus equipment to consider what could be given and then to register their equipment with the nominated government agency. The relevant agencies will be nominated in February.

Then, as equipment is required, donors will be contacted so delivery can be arranged.

While not all of the equipment pledged may be requested or needed, it is vital Australians remain ready to respond.

In this way, Australian fishermen can make a real difference in re-establishing an industry that is so essential to the tsunami-affected area of Indonesia and South Asia.

Further inquiries:

Senator Macdonald’s office: David Crisafulli (07) 4771 3066 or 0400 144 483

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