View Full Version : The Fishing Party. GBRMPA submission

18-12-2004, 06:15 AM
For the information of party members and interested recreational fishers the following is a submission by The Fishing Party (Qld) in respect of an application for a tourism pontoon in a Cairns area blue zone.

Ms Virginia Chadwick
GBRMPA Townsville
CC : Senator Ron Boswell

Date 15th December 04

Dear Ms Chadwick,

We write for formally protest the proposed tourism pontoon for Arlington Reef in the Cairns section of the GBR park. Ref Arlington Pearls Pty Ltd T/A Deep Sea Divers Den

Quite frankly, enough is enough.

Much of the hype about the RAP program has been driven by tourism interests and it is fair to say, outside those businesses which derive, or used to derive, their living from recreational fishing tourism, the tourism/diving industry is delighted with the RAP outcomes.

A past chairman of AMPTO is on the public record as saying fishing should be banned in 90% of the park.

Recreational fishers have few areas able to be fished close to Cairns without zoning restrictions, and these “Blue” zones are last real haven for the 20% of NQ. Residents who participate in recreational fishing.
Arlington & Sudbury Reefs are the only 2 blue zone reefs within access range of trailer boats. Of these 2 reefs Arlington offers closest access and by far the most shelter and safety for recreational trailer boat users. The inclusion of a tourism facility on this reef will have a serious negative impact on the amenity and recreational use of the reef and is absolutely inconsistent with the intention of a blue zone.

This application seeks to locate a tourism facility inside the Arlington Reef Blue Zone and with this would come the automatic exclusion of recreational fishers from around the pontoon site.

Ref Public Information package Arlington Pearls Pty Ltd 5.5 "Restrictions applied to Public"
4.2 "Installation of auxiliary moorings and Heli-Pontoon"

identifies a number of moorings and a helipad pontoon, each with additional exclusion zones, which will further increase the area of the reef over which restrictions to the public apply.

Fair go Ms Chadwick. The tourism industry has its own zones…they are green. I ask that you reject the application and avoid what will become a serious conflict by restricting new tourism facility pontoons to green zones.

Since RAP your department has already issued a pontoon permit for Knuckle Reef in the Whitsunday’s and public feedback from this operator and their guests is about how wonderful the coral, fish life and general condition of this area is. This area has been a fishing area for years.
At the same time the green-zoned Hardy Reef around the main tourism pontoons is, by any measure, in much poorer condition and this has been a green zone for years.

30,000 North Queenslanders voted for this party in the election. About the same number of people who made a RAP submission. This issue is a line in the sand. To date we have not directly attacked the tourism industry, despite comments made by some tourism operators and organisations.
Any further applications, and more importantly granting of applications, in blue zones, will however, signal the start of a very public campaign exposing some of the hypocrisy of this industry and its environmental practices, INCLUDING some of the operators who hold GBRMPA environmental excellence credentials, issued by your department.

Issues such as raw sewage discharge, excessive fish feeding, culling of large fish in green zones around pontoons, endocrine disruptors, removal of coral in green zones, bird kills and sunscreen pollution and significant coral damage.

The Arlington Pearls application clearly acknowledges that Corals will be damaged by the pontoon location process Public 'Information Package 1.1.' as well as identifying a number of other potential reef impacts.

Consistently the GBRMPA has identified tourism as a low impact activity, consistent with the values of green zones. The Fishing Party has privately maintained that tourism is high impact and not consistent with the values of green zones and we will take our case into the public arena if the GBRMPA approves additional tourism pontoons in blue zones, which in turn, ban recreational fishing around these facilities.

33% of the reef is now designated green. This zoning has the support of the tourism industry and particularly the dive industry as they sought to ensure the highest level of protection, which still allowed them to operate their tourism programs. It is inconceivable that this amount is not enough for them and they now need to secure more reef areas as the private domain of tourism.
We have worked through the RAP process. While not happy we are learning to live with the changes but you can not keep changing our usable areas to our continuing disadvantage.

Arlington Pearls had established this site for aquaculture, which was a failed attempt.
Ecrolight Pty Ltd, T/A Deep Sea Divers Den have no interest in this process and have cynically purchased Arlington Pearls to acquire a pontoon site in a further grab for access to a reef site with absolutely no regard for other users of the park.

It is our understanding that this particular company already has a number of designated moorings sites in the GBR, each with an exclusion zone that applies to the general public. This equates to significant area of the GBR, reserved exclusively for this operator….how much is enough?

This particular pontoon site has been unused for almost 10 years. This is probably the reason the reef was not zoned green in the first place…it was not wanted by the tourism industry therefore was not an ecologically significant bioregion needing green zone protection.

It is our understanding that latent permits were to be removed. Surely this was a latent permit or is this just another example of looking after the tourism industry while you happily decimate the fishing industry?

The recreational fishing community is not plotting ways to claw back green zones. TFPQ have not called for reduction in reef protection, we have in fact always maintained pink zones are the best method of protecting sensitive reef environments and our party policy on this issue follows.

1. In respect of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and associated zoning framework, it is the policy of TFP that an overhaul of zonings implemented as at July 1st 2004 take place to lessen the burden on the recreational fishing community. Such overhaul to work within the framework of available evidence and opt for split reef systems rather than the current practice of whole reef green zones. That a clear distinction at legislative and enforcement level be recognized between the varied fisheries techniques used by recreational and commercial sectors and an adherence to the governing laws applicable to the GBR which both allow and encourage reasonable and sustainable use. As part of this review an increase in the number of Pink zones and directly contrasting reduction in Green zones in hard reef areas and other areas of particular and identifiable biological importance

In simple terms we want, to use a typically Australian saying, a fair go. The proposal to further erode our access to the reef is not “a fair go” by any means Ms Chadwick and we call on you to do something about it..

Yours Faithfully

Kevin Collins

18-12-2004, 07:07 AM
Bloody well said KC.

18-12-2004, 07:37 AM
Go the fishing party!
Well put mate
Regards, Tony ;)

18-12-2004, 08:45 AM
Hi kev, mate i think that they don't give to f#^&@ about recreational fishing,just the O MITE tourism dollars. So give it to the bastard's.

Cheers pete.

18-12-2004, 12:24 PM
Write in indellible ink my name on any petition of support for this letter KC. Hopefully others suggest the same.

18-12-2004, 12:46 PM
Dont need a petition. 30,000 people already signed the only petition which really makes any difference.....its called a ballot paper.

We now get to speak with 30,000 voices and our voices will no longer fall on deaf ears.


18-12-2004, 01:02 PM
On second thoughts. E-mail the GBRMPA and tell them you support the submission by TFPQ regarding Arlington Reef!!

Bombard them!


Derek Bullock
18-12-2004, 01:13 PM

Can you post the email address.

Maybe someone specific and not just a general GBRMPA email.


18-12-2004, 01:32 PM
How did I know that was going to be the next question?? Sorry all, should have done it straight up but its been a long day.




Derek Bullock
18-12-2004, 01:59 PM
Onya KC :) :) :) :)

18-12-2004, 05:07 PM
Onya kev!!

18-12-2004, 06:27 PM
The wife and I have just sent our letters of support of TFPQ's submission to GBRMPA with a copy of same to every one in my addy book as well as KC's submission.
Networking isn't it?


18-12-2004, 09:27 PM
A suggestion for a letter to GBRMPA....

Dear Ms Chadwick...I did not vote for The Fishing Party...therefore I am not one of the 30,000 people for whom they speak. I do however totally support the submission in respect of Arlington Reef....so make it 30,000 & 1

Yours faithfully

19-12-2004, 02:57 AM
Just sent one.
People dont forget to put your street address on the email as I understand without it it can be scraped easier.

19-12-2004, 03:22 AM
We need to win this one guys!! No buts about it. You can be assured I have written to the relavent politicians and reminded them of the support we gave them in the election.

If TFPQ can not win this one, then dead set, I have been wasting my #$$@ time!


19-12-2004, 03:40 AM
KC, WHY NOT a petition! easy to organise, people understand them and sign them without a moments thought, each persons signature holds diplomatic/political weight, makes for great media event at handover, very cheap to run, allmost runs it'self (shop owners and employees are rec fisho's very often) inbetween mailout/delivery/download of standard form and collection to/from all tackle/ boating/marine addresses, gets the party known to those fisherman who still dont know about it by creating a point interest over The Fishing Party, pushes the cause forward in those who do know about the party, can run for 6+ months, highlights to some (including commercial financial contributers) that 30,000 IS just the tip of the iceberg not just political retoric.

One tackle shop here must get 200 people a day through, double on a saturday!

A small rally infront of GBRMPA with media and your mug on TV to hand over 100,000+ signatures while GBRMPA bosses try to ignore it's existance gives big headaches to little hitlers at all levels [smiley=2thumbsup.gif].

Just a thought from a non member ::). nq

PS I really like the multiple and pointed use of the word recreational in your submission beautyfull stuff.

19-12-2004, 04:20 AM
Good points NQ but, from my way of thinking, this particular issue is a lipnus test for our political credibility. If we have to go back to petitions, like we did with RAP submissions, then what is the point of actually having a formalised political party? Yes it would help spread the word but also we don't have time on this one. It is my understanding (& I stand to be corrected) that a decision on this application is emminent and also with a nod nod wink wink the company involved has already purchased a new boat in anticipation of an approval.

Personally, after a pretty tough year, I would like to post a win!! I would really like to look back on 2004 saying TFPQ now has some real credibility and can effect the decsion making process, by itself, and without having to go through the whole organiased petition thing to get noticed.

We now have a number and to my way of thinking, the best petition we can ever have is the ballot paper on election day.

What we have to do now, in a typically arrogant political fashion, is keep saying we are the official voice of the 30,000 people who voted for us.

If we stuff up then the membership will change the direction of the party and its elected board at the AGM in March & I've got to say, if I got the shove from the Chair at an AGM I wouldn't lose any sleep over it (in fact, if you ever notice the times of a lot of my posts I would in fact get a lot more bloody sleep)

Cheers all


Derek Bullock
19-12-2004, 02:40 PM
Would like to make a few suggestions to those planning to make a submission by email:

1. Do it in a professional way

2. Use proper english as best you can (No insult inferred here guys. If you can type it out first in a word processor and run spell check over it)

3. Dont defame the lady

4. Dont insult her intelligence

5. Dont use bad language; and

6. Stick to the facts as best you know them

Importantly, if you are a member of The Fishing Party and did vote for them dont say that you didnt.

In lots of these cases its your credibility that will win in the end.

Behave like a load of ruffians and you will get laughed at.



19-12-2004, 03:22 PM

Great suggestions and not insulting at all. Thanks

Could you take it one step further and help us out with a draft version or versions?

If so - we should not all just copy it - but use it as a first draft and say what we want to as well.

Thanks in anticipation


Derek Bullock
19-12-2004, 04:11 PM

Here is a draft submission that you could use. #In fact it would do no harm if everyone used the same one. #Just make sure you use your full name and address.

I have done this at your request and on the belief that the information in KC's original submission as being correct.




Your full name
Your full address


Ms Virginia Chadwick
GBRMPA Townsville

Dear Ms Chadwick

As a recreational fisher I wish to personally protest against the application by Arlington Pearls Pty Ltd to place a tourist facility at Arlington Reef in the Cairns Section of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. In doing so, I also personally support the submission forwarded to you on 15 December 2004 by Mr Kevin Collins, Chairman of The Fishing Party, also protesting against the application.

The application seeks to locate this tourist facility inside the Arlington Reef blue zone. #Should this be approved then it is my opinion that it will create exclusion for recreational fishers from around pontoon sites thus restricting further access to the reef area.

Recreational fishers have few areas able to be fished close to Cairns as it is without zoning restrictions. Arlington and Sudbury Reefs are the only blue zone reefs within reasonable range and access to recreational trailer boat users.

Of these two Arlington Reef offers closest access to, and by far the most shelter and safety, for recreational trailer boat users. The inclusion of a tourist facility on this reef will have a further serious negative impact on the recreational fisher’s use of the reef.

I would ask that you take into consideration my submission and reject the application.

Yours sincerely

Your name

19-12-2004, 05:17 PM
Good stuff Kev & the rest of you guys.

Email sent to GBRMPA.

What's the old saying - 'the squeeky door gets the oil" ???

Maybe one day rec fishers will have a win - we won't unless we all become more active however.

19-12-2004, 05:48 PM
great stuff derek,
c'mon guy's get active,

20-12-2004, 04:42 AM
My submission is in!!!

Regards, Tony

20-12-2004, 07:02 AM
Thanks Derek,

That reads very well. The help is appreciated and I would love it of you can turn your attention and skills to the Fishweb submission on the other post. I don't have an in depth knowledge of this issue and could use some help.

Power to the people!!



22-12-2004, 01:33 PM
My submission is in!!!

Thanks Derek for a well structured letter for us to use as a template.

Cheers Ron

22-12-2004, 03:43 PM
Yeah thanks Derek, mines in too.
Cheers, Mark.

22-12-2004, 04:48 PM
Thanks from me too Derek - Mines in - with a bit of additional local input as well.


23-12-2004, 02:55 AM
An update on this issue. Yesterday (Tuesday) members of The Fishing Party executive attended a meeting in Cairns with GBRMPA, The company involved, ECOFISH, Prism and some representitives of the Aquarium trade.

& here is the rub. Deep Sea Divers Den would be more than happy to move to a green zone...except GBRMPA won't let them!!! Submissions from the floor, including ours, were treated with the same contempt by GBRMPA that they showed to the original RAP submissions.

Thankfully we now have the ear of a few of the pollies because we can and will stop this.



23-12-2004, 08:22 AM
# # Submissions from the floor, including ours, were treated with the same contempt by GBRMPA that they showed to the original RAP submissions.



Did you really expect GBRMPA to be any different this time?


23-12-2004, 10:02 AM
More power to ya The Fishing Party, here's hopeing those GBRMPA ivory towers are starting to turn to glass [smiley=2thumbsup.gif]

23-12-2004, 04:05 PM
Onya TFPQ! My letter should be at GBRMPA by now too.

23-12-2004, 04:39 PM
mine is sent ..... thanks for the template derek. ....... get on board boys

24-12-2004, 03:57 AM
An update on this issue. Yesterday (Tuesday) members of The Fishing Party executive attended a meeting in Cairns with GBRMPA, The company involved, ECOFISH, Prism and some representitives of the Aquarium trade.

& here is the rub. Deep Sea Divers Den would be more than happy to move to a green zone...except GBRMPA won't let them!!! # # Submissions from the floor, including ours, were treated with the same contempt by GBRMPA that they showed to the original RAP submissions.

Thankfully we now have the ear of a few of the pollies because we can and will stop this.


Kev, Did GBRMPA offer any reason behind their refusal to allow the application to move, surely if the applicant is happy to comply with objectors wishes then one would hope the Minister can at least wind GBRMPA's neck in a bit!!!

24-12-2004, 01:48 PM
Found this yesterday....interesting....someone's worried maybe?

Wednesday, 22 December 2004

GBRMPA extends Public Consultation period

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has extended the public consultation period, relating to a new application for a pontoon on Arlington Reef, until 17 January.

Acting Chairman of the Marine Park Authority, Andrew Skeat says the move was in response to considerable public interest in the proposal.

“The pontoon proposal has attracted significant interest from the public and as a result we have extended the consultation period to a full 2 months, which means it will now close on 17 January, 2005.”

“We want to be sure that everyone who has an interest in this proposal has the opportunity to make a submission to the Marine Park Authority for consideration.”

The new permit application by a Cairns based tourism operator relates to the establishment of a pontoon based tourist operation on Arlington Reef.

Once the public consultation period has closed, a decision on the application will be made by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority as soon as practicable after consideration of any public submissions that may be received.

Further information on the proposal can be obtained by contacting Gail Hamilton from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority on 07 4750 0782 during normal office hours. Comments must be in writing and can be made by post to the GBRMPA PO Box 1379, Townsville, 4810 or by email permitenquiry@gbrmpa.gov.au

Derek Bullock
24-12-2004, 01:59 PM
Onya Baldy

I think everyone who reads this should flood them with emails asking for information on the proposal.

Also keep those emails objecting to it going in.



25-12-2004, 04:47 AM
Extracts from Minutes of meeting. Applicant being Deep Sea Divers Den. Summary being the 2 points identified by GBRMPA minute taker as the outcome of the meeting. Absolutely no comment by GBRMPA as to why they could not just move this to a green zone.


Vic Travers expressed frustration that the “goalposts seem to have shifted during the application process. They have been dealing in good faith, long before RAP came in. Feel like a political football. Have sympathy for plight of fishers.”


We will win this one....we just have to.


25-12-2004, 06:25 AM
Sent mine in too! Thanks for the template Derek. They should put the pontoon on one of their 3 sites at Norman Reef!

25-12-2004, 06:59 AM
Just sent mine in thanks for the template derek and keep up the fight kc will be sending this email to some very keen fisherman at work who no dout will send theres of as well

25-12-2004, 10:17 PM
[/quote][/b]Further information on the proposal can be obtained by contacting Gail Hamilton from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority on 07 4750 0782 during normal office hours. Comments must be in writing and can be made by post to the GBRMPA PO Box 1379, Townsville, 4810 or by email permitenquiry@gbrmpa.gov.au[/b]

Well 2 of us tried for hours on Friday. Starting before business hours. In brief

- No email was answered
- Gail Hamilton is on leave, and will not be back until 11 days before submissions close
- No one else could answer any questions
- No one had any data, except to say I would have to contact the applicant (Imagine! Relying on the applicant for information on which to object to their application - any reason you can figure why they may delay sending information?)
- GBRMPA staff then refused to give me the contact details for the applicant

Then they did not see why this is so preposterous! I thought I was living inside and episode of Faulty Towers.

Clearly they are using Bureaucracy to limit democracy and stop anyone making submissions.

We need to fight this not let them squash democratic debate. They are evil and a threat to democracy, not just fishing.

Please everyone phone and email and ask for the promised information. When you email ask for a receipt. When you phone asking for information to be sent ask for the name of the person and whom you asked - and write down the name and the time - and let them know you are doing so.

Keep chasing these people - they are putting up walls of Bureaucracy and we need to push through. This needs you all to push and ask not once but at least 2 times. (email and phone)


Derek Bullock
27-01-2005, 07:03 AM
Has anyone got an update on this.



27-01-2005, 11:24 AM
Senator Boswell has twice written to Ms Chadwick of the GBRMPA on our behalf. He has been advised in writting that no decision has been reached regarding this application and further Sen. Boswell has taken this issue to Minister Campbell.

TFPQ is cautiuosly optimistic of a positive outcome on this matter & the proposed pontoon will be relocated to a green zone


Derek Bullock
23-02-2005, 02:27 PM

23-02-2005, 09:26 PM
Glad you revisted this one Derek.....most of those involved in the process received the following letter last week from GBRMPA

I refer to your interest in the application by Deep Sea Divers Den for a pontoon at Arlington Reef, and your involvement in the public consultation process.

The GBRMPA had initially raised the prospect of a second public meeting in February to further address the community's concerns. However, it is considered that sufficient detail of the community's concerns has been provided through the first public meeting and the submissions, and that an additional public meeting won't be required prior to the GBRMPA making a decision on the application.

Once the decision has been made, the outcome will be communicated to those who made submissions. If the community require further information or discussion on the decision, a public meeting can be scheduled if necessary.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to comment on the application.


Gail Hamilton

From what we read/am told & know (& maybe that ain't much!!) this whole letter is code for "we give up, have put it in the too hard basket and don't need more public consultation because we have finally got the message AKA No bloody tourism pontoon on Arlington.

We may be wrong but our bet is, after being privy to the involvement of Ron Boswell, No blooody way the pontoon will be approved.

Might be wrong....but we are "quitely confident".


24-02-2005, 05:39 AM
kc, I read differently but I am not benefited with knowing all the goings on. From what I understand from this letter GBRMPA are saying:
1) We've said and heard all we are interested in communicating at present
2) We'll make up our own minds
3) We'll make our own decision
4) We are willing to further discuss with the public only AFTER we have made our decision.
The only thing it doesn't say (and for good reason I am sure) is that they would be willing to accept that their decision, if not widely accepted, will be open to any further changes after these public discussions
Doesn't sound any different to the GBRMPA we all know and loathe so far :-/

24-02-2005, 10:15 AM
Fair call...but at this stage I am taking a more positive view.

I honestly believe the Government got the message after the election and are listening......albeit with only 1 ear.

Arlington Reef is a bit of a lipnus test for TFPQ and to a degree Ron Boswell..............if any good came out of the all the work leading up to and after the election...we will win on Arlington.

If it was a waste of time.hmmmmm!! Don't know what we would do next............either give up or get even more active.

This the the first real issue we have asked the Nationals to champion on our behalf and I have been privy to some of the communications between Government & GBRMPA....time will tell, but as stated, I am hold some hope that we will have a win on this.


24-02-2005, 10:59 AM
I hope your right KC. On another note, what, if anything have you herd about the plan to list all Cape York rivers as wild rivers and preclude fishing & tourism from them? Just caught the end of a conversation about this on the ABC radio last friday. Maybe you could shed some light on this for us.

Cheers Ron

24-02-2005, 11:56 AM
Only heard a few whispers about this.....I have been pretty busy with the GSS issue of late but will do some digging.

If anyone can shed any light, please PM me or post info on Ausfish


Derek Bullock
24-02-2005, 12:05 PM
Started a new thread at http://www.ausfish.com.au/cgi-ausfish/board/YaBB.cgi?board=General;action=display;num=11091459 93


15-03-2005, 04:38 AM
Any updates on this, Just wanting to know whats happening with the pontoon at Arlington.

15-03-2005, 05:06 AM
Hi Ron,

A decision will be made this week. GBRMPA have posted a summary of submissions as well as minutes of the Cairns meeting on there web site.

I spoke to Senator Boswell twice last week re this and he was having a meeting with Campbell.

Below is a copy of an email we sent to Campbell on Friday just to keep up the pressure.

It is clear from talking to Senator Boswell, that the minister is not being accuirately briefed on this issue and that GBRMPA are full steam ahead to approve this pontoon.

It will only be political influence that stops it.

I honestly thought GBRMPA would react differently after the RAP debacle but maybe not.

I was, just a few days ago, very confident this pontoon would be stopped....now I am not so sure.

We await with baited breath.

Dear Senator Campbell,

I am advised that Senator Boswell has made some representations to you in recent days regarding the Arlington Pearls Pty Ltd T/A Deep Sea Divers Den application for a tourism pontoon on Arlington Reef Blue Zone in Cairns.

Just to dot point our concerns on this issue.

* While a permit exists for an aquaculture pontoon on Arlington Reef NO pontoon is on site nor has one been for some years.
* In The summary of the public submissions posted on the GBRMPA web site an overwhelming objection from every other user group of the park is apparent INCLUDING an admission in the minutes of the last Cairns meeting by the applicant, that they would rather locate the new facility in an existing green zone.

There appears, in view of the submissions during the public consultation process, unanimous support for the relocation of this facility into a green zone and any other outcome will be counter-productive to the GBRMPA restoring any public confidence in the consultation process, so damaged by RAP.

We implore you to become personally involved in this process and ensure the wishes of the Cairns meeting, as posted on the GBR web site, are implemented.


Kevin Collins

15-03-2005, 10:20 AM
HMMM, so not good news, if this goes through, just think what might happen elsewhere. Bloody GBRMPA. Have you heard the results of the poll on GBRMPA, would be interested to know what the results of that were, I certainly didn't give them any praises.


15-03-2005, 12:20 PM
Ron the futureye review is now posted on the GBRMPA website...all 118 pages of it. Amazingly it manages to actually say very little...just a lot of motherhood stuff and little if any critisism of the process.

I guess when GBRMPA commission a PR firm to do an overview of its ownn operations the results were always going to be fairly sanitised.


17-03-2005, 11:33 AM
See new post this topic......we have had a small victory...at last