Common spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas).

One Nation Hears WA Fishers: ‘Keep Your Claws Off Our Crays’

Last week we wrote about Western Australia’s Labor government plan to take a 17.3% slice of the local crayfish industry. That’s Australia’s most valuable fishery, by the way.

Many local fishers expressed outrage towards the plan, pointing out they were never consulted.

And Liberal leader Mike Nahan said Labor’s proposed policy is ‘like something you’d see in a third world country, nationalising assets’.

Now it looks like One Nation will ride to the rescue by blocking the controversial plan.

Ad campaign helps form a legislation block

The policy involves upping commercial catch limits to 8000 tonnes (from 6300 tonnes) and having over 1300 tonnes being kept by the state for private sector selling.

It’s an attempt to lower the local price of the crustacean and net the state millions in revenue, as the Australian Associated Press reports.

But WA’s three One Nation members halted the proposal on Friday, blocking its legislation in the upper house. The block comes after an ad campaign launched by crayfishers claimed the policy would put thousands of regional jobs and the sustainability of the industry at risk.

Further push comes from the newly launched lobby group Fishing Families, who have both fishers and processors backing the ad campaign urging the government to ‘keep your claws off our crays’.

Free report: Phil Anderson reveals a virtually unknown, monarchy inspired income stream that he believes could financially benefit every tax paying Aussie citizen for the next 100 years

Following these events, WA State leader of One Nation, Colin Tincknell told radio station 6PR ‘the industry wasn’t consulted well’. As such, his party will vote to support a disallowance motion.

But the party is open to further discussion, which Labor will likely have a voice in.

The debate in a crustacean shell

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly insists that policy would be beneficial to local crayfish supply to tourists and domestic consumers.

And Labor will be sure to highlight the policy’s promise of 500 new public sector jobs and more than $27 million of funding for a body corporate and spiny lobster research institute, as AAP reports.

But convincing may not be necessary, for there is the possibility Kelly will just play the ministerial card and use exemption to force the policy forward.

Tincknell has since urged the crayfish industry to ‘keep working with the government’ in order to prevent such a reality.

It’s been 10 years since lobster breeding numbers plummeted to a four-decade low, which led the Turnbull Liberal government to place restrictions on the industry. Only now have we seen an overall bounce back.

But the new ad campaign has revealed that some fishing businesses are already having loans reviewed.

Here’s hoping One Nation can keep Labor’s hands out of the water.

Free report: Phil Anderson reveals a virtually unknown, monarchy inspired income stream that he believes could financially benefit every tax paying Aussie citizen for the next 100 years

The Australian Tribune Editorial

The Australian Tribune Editorial

The Australian Tribune is an unorthodox news service. Your Australian Tribune editorial team deliver the unfiltered stories that could impact your daily life — political and economic stories you’re unlikely to get anywhere else. And we’re not afraid to step on some toes to do it. We are honest, conservative and never dull. We are an independent service, meaning we don’t answer to shareholders or outside advertisers. This helps avoid conflicts of interest that inhibit mainstream sources, which keeps our voice independent. The Australian Tribune is owned and operated by Port Phillip Publishing.
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  1. I do not fully understand the ‘lobster’ dispute, but if it is a form of tax that the government wants to impose, than that is fine. The wealth of Australia should never be open to ‘free for all.’ By all means, exploit the natural surplus, but allocate a fair share for those who actually own it.
    Imagine a Tribe living off the catch of fish around a lake. Then imagine an individual acquires big fishing boat and nets. Would not the Tribe finish up buying their own fish, that is until fully exhausted?
    JL