Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast Adam Crouch is calling on all Central Coast Members of Parliament to join the Government and oppose the appalling Rock Fishing Safety Amendment Bill 2021.
The object of the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Bill is to amend the Rock Fishing Safety Act 2016, to permit persons to wear a wetsuit instead of a lifejacket when fishing at high-risk rock fishing locations.
“For obvious reasons, I and the Government opposes the Bill, and I am staggered that this appalling piece of legislation was supported by Labor in the Legislative Council," Mr Crouch said.
“The Rock Fishing Safety Amendment Bill 2021 is probably one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation that I have seen in the place in a long time.
“I call on all members representing Central Coast electorates, to stand with our community and outstanding Surf Life Saving volunteers and oppose this bill. I was gob smacked that Labor voted for this bill in the upper House, and now they need to do the right thing and vote with the Government to oppose it.
“Fishing is an incredibly important part of the lifestyle of many people on the Coast, I have 15,000 fishos in my electorate who enjoy fishing, including rock fishing. But we need to ensure that fishing, especially rock fishing, is done in the safest possible way.
It was Surf Life Saving Central Coast and Central Coast Council that led the way on working with the NSW Liberal National State Government to be the first region to introduce the requirement for rock fishers to wear life jackets.
“Unfortunately, this single page of legislation looks to remove the safety mechanisms that were put in place after a lot of consultation with first responders and the wider community,” Mr Crouch said.
“Sadly, there was little or no consultation with probably the single biggest stakeholder, Surf Life Saving NSW, when forming the Bill. Obviously, Labor couldn't be bothered to take the time to examine the one page of legislation which also highlights that Labor's support of this terrible Bill was an appalling decision”
A copy of the Rock Fishing Safety Amendment Bill 2021 is available on the NSW Parliament website.