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Saffin betrays Clarence fishermen by failing to question Minister over SeaNet axing.

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Media Contact: Greg Pierce 02 66 52 62 33 0408 532 785 Canberra: 62 77 4447

Luke Hartsuyker MP Federal Member for Cowper


June 23, 2008

Saffin betrays Clarence fishermen by failing to question Minister over SeaNet axing

The Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin has passed up the opportunity to question the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries on why the SeaNet programme has been axed in the Clarence Valley.

During today’s Parliamentary Question Time in Canberra, Ms Saffin had the opportunity to ask both the Prime Minister and the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries why SeaNet funding had been cut.

However, instead Ms Saffin chose to ask a question of the Attorney General.

The Nationals Federal Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, said Ms Saffin betrayed the interests of the Clarence Valley fishing industry.

“Today Ms Saffin had the ear of the whole Parliament, including all of the Government’s Cabinet.

“The Prime Minister was in the House, the Minister for Fisheries was in the House - the opportunity was there for Ms Saffin to raise questions on this very important issue.

“Instead Ms Saffin chose to question the Attorney General on an unrelated matter.

“This represents a gross betrayal of Clarence Valley fishing industry. Just three days after SeaNet was advised their funding had been axed, Ms Saffin has passed up the perfect opportunity to question the Government’s decision.

“One has to ask whether Ms Saffin is committed to the Clarence fishing industry and what priority she places on protecting the industry’s interests.

“It is clear that Janelle Saffin and the Rudd Government have deserted the industry when it’s in its greatest need.

“Janelle Saffin should hang her head in shame for passing up the opportunity to represent such a vital constituency in her electorate.”