Communities surrounding the Gippsland Lakes are bracing themselves for the hit to the local economy that will inevitably accompany the removal of the ten fishing licences and the subsequent loss of income that these fishing families currently bring into the area.
Nationals Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, spoke in Parliament last week on the Andrews Labor Government’s Marine and Fisheries Legislation Amendment Bill, which provides for the cancellation and subsequent compensation for all 10 Gippsland Lakes Fishery Access Licences by 1 April 2021.
“While I have raised a number of concerns about the exit package that is being offered to the licence holders, I am also concerned about the knock on effect to the local community,” said Mr Bull.
“I have asked the Minister for Regional Development about her department’s plans for investments that are being planned in Lakes Entrance to offset the economic impact of the buying out of the 10 commercial fishing licences.
“Apart from the families of the licence holders, this will also directly impact the Lakes Entrance Fishermen’s Co-operative and transport companies and will have other flow-on effects in that community as well.
“We have an undertaking for a cafe on Bullock Island, which the Liberal Nationals committed to several weeks before it was matched by Labor in the lead up to the State election, but more is needed.
“The Hazelwood closure attracted a very significant package of investments in the Latrobe Valley for workers displaced in the power industry.
“While we do not need anything of that magnitude, this issue is significant for Lakes Entrance and the government ought to support a proportionate level of investment in economic development for the town.” said Mr Bull.