This was another outstanding ‘free to the public event’. The weather was picture perfect, the seas glassed out, yet only a week earlier we were on cyclone watch. The Sunday after – rain and wind gusts to 25 knots .
This year we conducted two events, our 15th at Shoal Point where attendance numbers were down (due to Junior Sports Kick Off Day ) and the first at Midge Point in partnership with the Midge Point fishing and sports club.
Congratulations to the management committee of the Midge Point Fishing club. Thirty seven children registered for the event.
While we run around patting ourselves on the back, behind the scenes only a matter of days before the event, there was a 50-50 chance that the Shoal Point event would be cancelled due to our difficulty in complying with Mackay Regional Council Application for Temporary Entertainment Event requirements-namely a doubling in our public liability insurance ( council requirement $20 million dollars ) . We were able to comply with this at no extra cost to MRFA with the full cooperation of our insurance underwriters. We were fortunate to have a member with a current food handling certificate for our sausage sizzle.
We are thankful that Council waived the Temporary Entertainment Event fee of $451.00 and an estimated $265.00 fee to hold the event at their Shoal Point park.
We must say that our dealings with representatives of the Mackay Regional Council were courteous at all times. They went out of their way to help.
There is a message in this for all nonprofit groups. If you have a free sausage sizzle as we did, or use it for raising funds, make sure you are council compliant.
We take this opportunity to thank our guests who had static displays at our event: the MackayOffice of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Turtle Watch, the Mackay Area Fish Stocking Association who brought along breeding stock sooty grunter, and Greg Sichter, professional crabber who was run ragged showing people how to handle mud crabs and identify full crabs – 1/2 full or empty. And special thanks to the Mackay Apex Club for their help with our catering needs.
Next year we promise to be well prepared to comply with council requirements, apart from that hiccup the events run like a well oiled machine.
Ticking along nicely thank you, as at the day of print financial members are just four short of 400.
NET FREE ZONE NEWS:
There was an article in the Sunday Mail 16th of March that stated that members of the Taylor Beach( near Innisfail ) Progress Association have presented their local MP with a petition containing 700 names for a Net Free Zone at Taylors Beach, identified as the area just north of Gentle Annie Creek south to Lucinda Point to Mandan Creek, a small breakout creek to the south as they say, the fish and the tourists have gone ! – What’s new about that ?
I have been in touch with a representative of the association and will keep them in the loop with developments up and down the coast with regards to net free zone proposals.
And another net free zone proposal is being promulgated at Cooloola – Noosa. Committee members include representatives of the Regional Council and the local MP along withrecreational fishers.
The Moreton Island net free proposal e-petition was lodged in state parliament on the 4th of March 2014. The Fisheries Minister said in part,” The Queensland Government will await the outcome of the comprehensive review of fisheries Queensland before making significant policy decisions in relations to fisheries management. “
In an email sent around the state; the proponents said that this did not approach the response they were looking for.
The Mackay Regional net free zone is ticking along nicely.
Not all recreational anglers are apolitical. Confidential emails are circulating amongst groups with net free proposals about a battle plan, all of which will be revealed to the public when they blow the whistle for the next state election.
QUEENSLAND RECREATIONAL FISHERS NETWORK.
We are affiliated with QRFN, their website is www.qrfn.org/
QRFN ‘s position on the introduction of a recreational fishing licence for anglers in Queensland is up there for all to read, along with their position that all mackerels caught in Queensland be line fished ONLY.
This site is about 5% complete and is work in progress; one of the unique features about this website is it is devoid of ads.
REVIEW OF FISHERIES QUEENSLAND REGULATIONS ETC.
Mackay Recreational Fishers Alliance Inc. welcomes Minister McVeigh’s announcement of a long overdue review of the current fishing regulations in Queensland.
Our Position is:
*We call for an independent expert assessment and advisor
* commercial net endorsements to be halved as per LNP election promise.
*net free areas close to urban areas
*mackerel species to be line caught only
*trout – total allowable catch reduced to 600 tonnes.
*crab endorsements to be halved
*trawl latency to be removed.
*VMS - vessel monitoring system on all commercial and NET and line boats including dories
This fisheries review is a once in a lifetime opportunity to turn a valuable fishery with a dubious future to become an Immensely valuable fishery with a magnificent future .
Fish stock recovery from the excessive stock depletion must be the government’s No 1 priority.
We call upon Minister McVeigh to show exemplary leadership. Please take this “cot case” patchwork fisheries department into the twenty first century . If this review is conducted by independent experts and the conclusion transparent, there will be no need for the state government to be in ‘damage control.’ The changes will be welcome by all stake holders of thefishery.