Burnett MP has spoken in parliament supporting commercial fishermen.
Burnett MP has spoken in parliament supporting commercial fishermen. Tom Huntley GLA270313BOAT

Commercial fishing families crippled by 'dodgy system'

MEMBER for Burnett Stephen Bennett added his voice in Parliament this week to claim that the Palaszczuk Labor Government is ignoring warnings that its rollout of the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) is harming Queensland's commercial fishing families.

Mr Bennett said he'd been overwhelmed with complaints, having seen about 30 cases relating to the VMS.

Their claims have alleged faulty responders, dodgy government-certified VMS suppliers, and vessel safety issues as a result of Labor's failed rollout.

"The Palaszczuk Labor Government used its numbers in Parliament to shut down a disallowance motion on the rollout, which would have seen the regulations halted while concerns were addressed," Mr Bennett said.

"My calls in Parliament in support of the disallowance motion was so we can review, renegotiate and rewrite the VMS Policy and Guidelines.

"As they stand, they're unacceptable to commercial fishers and many other seafood stakeholders.

"There has been many issues plaguing the rollout since day one, so you would hope a Government with any compassion would at least listen to suggested solutions.

"The Government specified tracking devices, many of which are subject to software failures, are crippling small businesses along the coast when you consider that commercial fishing families are not permitted to go out and fish to earn a living while their VMS is broken or not operating.

"Allegations of dodgy practices from the government-certified supplier of one of the endorsed responders, has marred the rollout and created frustrations among hundreds of commercial fishing families.

"Family-run commercial fishing businesses are being put to the wall just because this Labor Government cannot undertake its own due diligence and roll out this VMS regulation.

"Commercial fishers are quite rightly questioning government due diligence, when there was no Regulatory Impact Statement completed.

"It's clear that we need to put a hold on this regulation and conduct a full review to find out what went wrong and why the VMS rollout has been such a disaster.

"I will back all small business owners including our commercial fishing families and will continue to fight on its behalf, because we can find dignified solutions."

A response has been sought from the government.