Dear Members and Friends,
Welcome to the MRFA Annual Report 2013. Thanks for taking the time to read our 2013 Annual Report.
Just 12 months ago we were all sunfished out! Our redirection, rejuvenation and consolidation have placed us on solid foundations. In rebranding we are accountable only to our sponsors, financial members and ourselves. Resigning our membership from Sunfish Queensland and changing our name has been a very expensive exercise. Our public liability insurance costs are outrageous at $1511.84. We also incurred many one off costs which are reflected in our treasurer’s report. At the moment we are in the red regarding expenditure versus receipts for our net free proposal. A spike in membership should bring this back to balance.
Without the substantial financial assistance of Tackle World, Shakespeare Street and Reef Marine we would not exist. For this and their constant moral support we shall always be grateful.
Three major projects have consumed close to one thousand volunteer man hours this past year.
Our Net Free Proposal Seaforth – St Helens ( with consideration to extend the boundaries Cape Hillsborough to Cape Conway subject to community support north of the O’Connell River), Angler Education and the third, Communications.
NET FREE PROPOSAL
Win-lose or draw, we at MRFA have done everything possible within our human and financial resources to make this dream of ours become a reality. Special thanks are due to Mick O’Donnell of Seaforth who rallied the troops at Seaforth and led the charge on that front. We acknowledge the financial assistance of $1000 from the Seaforth Progress Association which was used in the preparation of flyers and other promotional material. Cr. Alison Jones and Ahri Tallon have provided valuable assistance to me in the preparation of our submission for government and other agencies.
We acknowledge and greatly appreciate support for this project by Mackay Tourism, The Yuibera Traditional Owners and the Mackay and District Amateur Fishing Clubs Association.
As with all projects we have a line drawn in the sand. If we have not made satisfactory progress by our given date, we will suspend activities, redraw battle plans and roll it out big time when the next state election is called.
Some nonprofit recreational fishing groups market themselves apolitical – not us, being apolitical has not produced the goods for recreational fishers in the past. Governments only have one currency – votes. It’s bloody marvelous how responsive state and local government and the opposition are when the whistle is blown for a new election. I promise that the boot will be on the other foot! There will be a scramble for votes. We will do the talking and they will be listening. At the next state election we will have something to trade, and it’s called members votes.
We have data based well over 1000 people in the community who have signed our net free petition, and we promise them, if they took time to do that for us, we will use the numbers to the best of our ability.
Once again special thanks to Glenn Fahy, and Mick Connolly for another year of exceptional work invested in junior fishers. One only had to be in attendance at our Family Fishing Day at Shoal Point on Easter Sunday, 31 March, where 200 children registered to see how well oiled and organized our Angler Education team is.
Our joint venture project with Tackle World Mackay hosting the ‘kids only’ fishing competition in the Pioneer River on Sunday the 4th of August was an outstanding success. Prizes to the value of $4000 were up for offer with 184 children registering for the event.
Our Schoolfish project – sponsored exclusively by Reef Marine continues to prosper with 340 students going through the program this past 12 months.
On behalf of the management committee we extend thanks to Glenn and Mick and their willing helpers.
One innovation that should improve our public image and increase public awareness is our grand new website www.mackrecfishersalliance.org. Without the assistance of Ahri, who also maintains our email communications, this would never have happened.
The good news is, since 1-4-13 we have added two hundred and sixteen (216) new people to our membership data base. These are singular names and do not include spouses, partners or children. If you factor those in the numbers would be closer to 350.
We express sincere thanks to The Daily Mercury, The Midweek newspaper, ABC Radio, Meech and Kim, David Perkins ( Perko ) Hammo, Channel 7 T.V. news, Nine T.V. News.
Current financial situation as reflected by our annual treasurer’s report, a loss of $861 which had the potential to be much greater, has been recorded. The outlook for the future is dependent on there being continued support from sponsors and members. The immediate future should be secure.
COMMITMENTS AND CHALLENGES FOR 2013-14.
Our #1 priority has to be succession planning. Some of us are getting too many miles on the clock(including yours truly). If we don’t inject new blood and skill new executives, most of our knowledge and contacts will go to the grave with us.
Our Net Free Zone proposal will remain on the radar screen and our Schoolfish and other kids fishing ventures will continue to operate on auto pilot under the careful guidance of our coordinators.
We plan to work in partnership with commercial fishers and processors to address the appalling staffing level of Mackay Boating and Fisheries Patrol. As we print this report staffing numbers are three, the same as when I came to Mackay in 1974, when the population was 28000. If we had the same number of police in Mackay now as 1974 there would be a public outcry! A more appropriate staffing number for Mackay is eight.
Thanks everyone for your loyalty and continued support.