Letters to the editor

Governments playing games with fishery

The Shadow Minister Eddie Hughes' recent attempt to point score against the current government by pointing out that they have not completed a buyback of marine scale licences by July 1 is completely hypocritical in the extreme.

They had 16 years in office to put in place proper management practices for this important community resource.

Both sides of government have used the marine scale fishery as a political vote winning game, especially by favouring the interests of the recreational industry over the commercial sector.

This pathetic game has to stop; it is an important public resource we need to manage properly for the benefit of everyone.

The fish stocks are declining because of over-fishing by the collective take from commercial and recreational fishermen.

How we got to this point is not a complicated matter, lack of proper management and a lack of commitment from government to invest in the resource both to study it (science) and protect it (compliance).

Back in the 1990s government contributed equally with industry to fund these things on behalf of the public, fast forward to recent years and the government contribution is a fraction of what it used to be.

Another point I would like to make is that while science is very important, in the case of fish stocks the figures quoted are estimations, and in the case of our state snapper, whiting, calamari, and garfish stocks these estimations have been made with virtually no reliable data of recreational catch.

Managing the fish stocks of our state should not be a political game, it is a conservation/economic issue, without healthy stocks everybody loses.

A healthy commercial fishery will provide the seafood to the public to enjoy and create regional employment, a healthy recreational fishery will give the same things, and both sectors need serious management for the stocks to have any chance to recover to what they once were.

Bag and boat limits are not enough, a tag system or something similar must be introduced, with a limit to how many a year can be caught.

Snapper in the gulfs would be a good starting point to introduce such a system.

Lastly the current reform that is underway is this state's chance to get it right.

I encourage the current minister and his advisers to be as thorough and as fair as they can with the commercial sector and then to do the same with the recreational sector.

I hope the Treasurer Rob Lucas will see the importance and potential of a job well done and support the whole process as it deserves, and that both sides of government will get on the same page.



Don't waste the opportunity

The proposal to ban the use of single-use plastics in South Australia is a positive and highly accountable response to the current waste dilemma communities across Australia are facing.

In our efforts to simplify our daily lives, by developing and using items which were cheap, expendable and reduced the use of natural resources, we have significantly increased the amount of long-life waste we need to dispose of.

The recent, universally unpopular, decision by the state government to increase the Solid Waste Levy by 40 per cent, clearly signalled that we as a society need to take action to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

Targeting the use of single use plastic and other items is an opportunity to solve two issues - decreasing the amount of waste going to landfill and reducing the disposal cost for councils and ratepayers.

Recycling, reuse and the elimination of unnecessary packaging are further measures that could also be adopted.

Hopefully, we don't waste this opportunity.



Leave the state's farm land alone

The Marshall Liberal government reintroduced the flawed Mining Bill last week.

The current guardians of the remaining 5 per cent of food producing land in South Australia have little to no trust in this government offering protection for this precious resource.

The technology already exists to extract minerals underground without destroying the topsoil above.

While this is a more expensive way to mine, wouldn't it be wiser to mine the abundant mineral resource in the outback of South Australia?

By the time, in many decades to come, it is exhausted perhaps then look at underground mining, thus safeguarding our farmland for future generations of all South Australians.



Meals on wheels roster


Friday, July 12: C. Moffatt, J. Gregory; Monday, July 15: G. Trenowden, C. Hoffrichter; Tuesday, July 16: P. Johns, P. Nielsen; Wednesday, July 17: L. Duncan, V. Shipard; Thursday, July 18: Y. Kloeden, C. Blums.

Streaky Bay

Friday, July 12: P. Pudney, C. Lynch; Monday, July 15: J. and T. Sherrah; Tuesday, July 16: G. and L. McCarten; Wednesday, July 17: M. Thomas, P. Shearsby; Thursday, July 18: M. and G. Lee.