View Full Version : The Fishing Party (Qld) member update

09-12-2004, 02:35 PM
The Queensland Branch of The Fishing Party has now had an opportunity to reflect on its election results and look forward to its future as a potential political force in the state.
From a standing start just 7 months before the election the party was formed, organised, and launched a membership drive which ultimately attracted some 1000 concerned recreational fishers to its ranks, including iconic figures like Jack Erskine , John Mondora and Dave Donald.
With much of its focus on membership and policy development our federal election came all too quickly, and the party was not in a financial position to effectively target the entire state, so instead focused on a number of key North Queensland electorates.
Driven by the recent closures of the Great Barrier Reef and adjacent foreshore, new finfish regulations and a political system, which seemed to ignore the input of recreational fishers, The Fishing Party (Qld), achieved some quite remarkable results.
It became the case that without blanket advertising, which we could not afford, the time honored method of actually manning the polling booths and handing out how to vote cards was the best and only means available to let fishers know that there was a clear alternative in the federal senate to send a message that I Fish & I Vote is more than just a bumper sticker.
Of the polling booths manned in Queensland the party averaged over 6% of the vote. Many booths returned more than 15% and the single best booth, a booth of some 1000 votes, returning 20.6%.
In terms any politician will understand, this was a very significant result. The Fishing Party outpolled both the greens and democrats north of Mackay and all with a total campaign budget less than the price of a used car.
While to a large degree we were ignored by the mainstream press, in the election wash-up, the preference arrangements entered into by TFPQ, ultimately denied the greens the balance of power position in the senate. The National Party picked up the last senate seat ahead of the greens in Qld and this most certainly gained TFPQ some serious press notoriety, which will ensure we will not be ignored next time around.
Since the election we have held meetings with both state and federal politicians and have gone from the days (just 6 short months ago) when the secretary to the advisor to the minister would not even return our calls, to now having direct senator and ministerial access…..the power of the vote.
TFPQ has been receiving increasing levels of membership interest since the election and it is our hope that we can now establish branches throughout the state and be a very well organised and funded organisation in time for the next federal election. Our first SE branch, titled Brisbane North, was formed on Bribe Island 2 weeks ago.
We were basically put in a position to decide whether the efforts of our various lobby groups and peak bodies was effective or whether recreational fishing was being sacrificed at the great green political alter. Clearly we believed the only way to effectively fight for our sport was at the ballot box and if our initial results were any indication of what we can hope for in the future, then all the work has been worth it.
The real disappointment has been the lack of membership and involvement by the average angler. No one else is fighting the fight on your behalf and apathy will always be our biggest enemy. We need 5,000 or 10,000 members not 1000. We will also be approaching the major recreational fishing corporations over the next few months and demonstrating our level of success and potential influence to them. At the end of the day this is our sport and if the worst happened we would take up golf. For the businesses which rely on our sport however it is a very different matter and they need to come to terms with the potential of an organised political force representing the future of recreational fishing & in turn, their very livelihood and get behind us financially. If we can go to the next federal election well funded, with plenty of members to man booths and with some serious media profile then all sides of politics will have to realize they have pushed us too far and recreational fishers will vote to protect their rights.


Merry Christmas guys. Ausfish has been the best public forum we have used. Whether you have been for us or agin us does not matter, at least you have been part of the democratic process.

I hope more of you join up, but most of all I hope all of you stay involved.


KC & TFPQ team

Derek Bullock
09-12-2004, 04:33 PM

I am not a member of The Fishing Party. You guys are however to be congratulated on what you achieved leading up to the election and subsequent result.

I have poured over your website and find it very amateurish and hard to follow.

I see a statement like (example of many such statements) "It is the policy of The Fishing Party that a blanket ban on the commercial exploitation of all billfish species be put into place and that the export of these species cease forthwith." What is the policy .......... how will The Fishing Party achieve this ? ?

I think you will attract a lot more members, smart thinking people, who can and do have the wherewithal to do a lot of good for the Party if more professionalism is shown right through the ranks.

Statements I have seen in print on here from people acclainming to be Fishing Party members show a type of fanatacism that does and will turn reasonable thinking people away. It needs to stop and people should think before they hit the keyboard.

These are not destructive comments but genuine criticism, in my opinion, that you and the Party should consider.

Notwithstanding that, I think anyone would agree it was a job well done and I wish you and the Party the best for the future.


PS Still wont stop me being outspoken on issues that are close to my heart.

09-12-2004, 06:09 PM
KC, I'm grateful to you and the many other people who have decided to do a little bit for your sport and lifestyle.I am a party member and have decided long ago to become more involved in decisions made by Govt that directly affect my way of life. I deplore the "helpful advise" and "constructive criticism" that is handed out by people who still meekly think that "consultative processes" and "community awareness" will achieve the results that many amateur anglers seek. I deplore militancy and fanaticism in any form and struggle to see the previous poster's point but hey - it's his right to his opinion.
Face facts people - we are going to be increasingly marginalised because we have an "environmentally extractive" lifestyle. They don't care if you let your fish go or keep 'em. The Govts don't care as long as you pay your regos and license fees. You're a breathing vote to either party - And THAT people is where you can make a difference. If you don't like the Fishing Party's agenda or believe it's "amateurish" then join up and make the change internally.
Great results KC on a limited budget and time.
Cheers, Darryl

10-12-2004, 12:44 AM
boris...if you cannot handle criticism in any form then I doubt you should be a member of any political party because it will never stop...that is what politics is...criticism, advice and not so fair play all thrive in the political spectrum. As for the fanatics, there have been some rather ridiculous statements made over the months, however, these have not been from the FPQ executive but from so called members.

10-12-2004, 04:12 AM
Hi guys,

I know this post is going to attract both sides of the fence, but, like pinhead said....that's politics! Personally it is pointless having a mutual "love-in". We really need oppossing views if we are going to even get close to being a representitive body and we need to deal with those views....almost in-house practice for when we have to deal with mainstream media.

As to Dereks question about how we are going to achieve our policy of a ban on the commecial expolitation of billfish. Mate...I havn't got a clue!! That does not mean that as an absolutely fundamental position, we should not have this policy? The same could be said for every policy we have...how are we going to acheive i?? Really "we" are not....you guys are...it is always about votes, it is always about numbers and it is always about convincing the Government that they will likely have more chance of staying on the gravy train if they pander to TFPQ than if they pander to Bob Brown and his "mates"...................A pipe dream??

Don't know.

What I do know is from a standing start and with bugger all $$ we outpolled the greens in NQ at our very first attempt and are now working with the Nationals to cement some real recreational fishing friendly outcomes as a direct result.

Dead set Derek the best thing you could do if you really want to be part of the process is join up, get involved and have some input.

I respect some people will be objectors to being involved with any political party..personal choice...but at the end of the day, this really is the main game.



10-12-2004, 05:57 AM
i reccon if someone is willing to put their hand up and go into bat for me ill gladly join.
cheers scott

10-12-2004, 05:58 AM
Hi Derek

Did you read through The Fishing Party (Qld) document I sent you a few weeks ago ?

It had the Policies and FAQ all laid out and was sent to teh Media during the election.


10-12-2004, 06:45 AM
Hi Derek,
I have been reading through the old thread on the FP and have been trying to find the "fanatacism" factor. From what I can see, it is people who are prepared to have a go, not just whing. If you think that the FP is not as professional as you would like, remembering that it is less than 1 year old, why don't you pay your $22 and join up and do something about it. It is too easy to sit back and criticise and if you care enough about what is going on with regards to potential closures, changes etc, then we all could benefit from your knowledgeable opinions. We could do with some more smart thinking people who are prepared to put their money where their mouth is for the common good.

10-12-2004, 12:02 PM
Tim, kc mentions there is approx. 1000 members now. How many have actually done anything other than sending off their membership fees and completed application form? 10% ? 20%..I doubt it would be any higher than that. Being a member of a Party really means nothing if you are not active. You say that it is "easy to sit back and criticise"..in case you did not know..you can actually do that in a democracy.
I would glaldy join and be active except for one point..and kc is aware of that.

10-12-2004, 12:42 PM
Good call pinhead...probabley about 200 of our 1000 odd members are what you would call "active"(some REAL active) I don't know how this stacks up against membership of other political parties but I'd be thinking that the level of involvement within our ranks is probabely more than average...and then, what is "active". Just getting into the ear of your local tackle shop owner, talking to mates at the ramp and spreading the word is pretty OK in my books. At the end of the day our 1000 members equated to 30,000 votes and this was a pretty fair effort all round.

Derek you are right about our web site. It is amatuerish, we don't have a web designer in our midst prepred to redo it for free...if you are offering, we should talk. 0414 785 462