Impact of the Marine Park Sanctuary Zones
Bart Butson, Fisher (5AA 11.36-11.40) Impact of no take zones
(Byner: … The introduction of marine parks… the way this was done was most suspicious. DEWNR wrote to fishers via their steering groups and asked them whereabouts they fish, so … they filled out the places they fish and then voila… the no take zones were exactly the same as the places the fishers identified where they fish… There was a view… these marine parks were being adversely affected – the biodiversity … was really bad for species like the Leafy Sea Dragon. They didn’t really know … whether there was any science to this but just to be precautionary they said you can’t fish here… It made my next guest move towards being broke… He was adversely affected by the new marine park sanctuary zones near Port Wakefield… It’s been 3.5 years since the implementation of these sanctuary zones, no financial relief has been offered to fishermen and DEWNR have behaved in a way towards these people that basically they couldn’t give a toss. Government policy was to provide compensation to fishers who could prove their losses including financial losses and reduced catches. My next guest has evidence of loss – loss of income from tax returns, substantially reduced catches from his statutory daily catch, a logbook… Bart Butson, what’s happened now, you’re still waiting, what are they asking for now?) They’re not asking for anything, they’re just making me wait. I’m not sure why it’s taken this long, I know they wanted the records of our lost catches and our reduced income to be very accurate and it’s taken a lot of time and a lot of money to provide that to them and we’ve done that, I’ve used very good independent accountants to forensically go through my bookwork to make sure that the losses are real. In fact they wouldn't actually do it until I did three years of fishing because they said fishing fluctuates and they want to be sure… (Byner: … So you’ve waited three years, what have they done.) They sent me a letter to say that this could take quite a while to process and that if they have any further questions their legal help from the Crown Solicitor’s will be in touch with my lawyers.
John Darley, MLC (5AA 11.40-11.43) Impact of no take zones
(Byner: … John Darley…what standard of behaviour towards a fisher would you describe this as.) I’d describe this as nothing less than disgraceful. Bart… has provided all the information over a 3.5 year period and he’s still waiting after six months in lodging his claim. Now I spoke to Ian Hunter the previous Minister … 2.5 months ago in the Chamber and he responded to me in writing by saying look take this matter up with Sandy Pitcher the Chief Executive… She’s gone… I actually put a call in to Sandy Pitcher and I had no response at all. I then … had a meeting with Steven Marshall just over a week ago and I said to him who’s the new A/g Chief Executive and he said John Schutz… I’ve put in three calls to him over a week ago, in fact it’s probably nearly two weeks ago, no response at all. Now I liken this to some Departments’ attitude to payment of accounts outstanding for more than 60 or 90 days. There is no sense of urgency employed by these Departments at all. (Byner: … All right… I think you should approach the new Minister, David Speirs… have a talk to him. I do know that the Liberals wanted to slightly amend – and not a huge difference – but some of the no take zones but that was defeated by the then Government, supported by people such as Mr Brock but I think if Mr Butson is entitled to compensation he should get it summarily and any public servant who tries to use the ‘There’s no business like slow business’ excuse, ought to be cast aside and put somewhere where they can do less damage… These geniuses in this Department, they have got powers above SAPOL … that’s got to change…) We’ve had this conversation a number of times concerning natural resource management people. Now this A/g CEO was the Director in charge of those people as well and I … certainly intend talking to David Speirs about it and we need some action here and I think any Department that acts in this way… something should be done at the top. (Byner: … Absolutely…)