Tin Can Bay’s role as a federal poll battleground
THE Federal election has already begun in Gympie's Wide Bay electorate, whether Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten know it or not.
And the first big battleground is Tin Can Bay.
Endorsed LNP candidate Llew O'Brien says the dolphin feeding institution at Tin Can Bay's Norman Point will be among the first casualties of a Labor plan to ban the fishing which supplies by-catch for the dolphin feeding attraction.
Not true, says his arch rival, Labor's Lucy Stanton, who began her campaign in Gympie region with a Gympie Times interview this week.
Mr O'Brien also says Ms Stanton plans to hand over of all available fish to recreational anglers, causing havoc in the seafood restaurant trade and denying the rest of us the right to buy local wild-caught seafood.
And that is not true either, Ms Stanton says. She says plan is a different kettle of fish altogether.
Her proposal for World Heritage listing over the mainland Cooloola region, as well as Fraser Island, would not affect the ocean fishing areas which provide the by-catch for dolphin feeding and the fillets on the plates in seafood restaurants.
The commercial net fishing bans associated with her World Heritage listing plan will only affect inshore areas.
"Not many seafood restaurants do a big trade in mullet," Labor's Lucy Stanton said.
The eons old dolphin feeding institution which survives in vestigial form at Les Dunstan's Barnacles restaurant at Norman Point would benefit enormously from the tourism attracted by World Heritage listing.
She admits World Heritage will mean an end to inshore net fishing, but claims those fishers are not particularly popular anyway, especially with recreational fishers.
And it is recreational fishing that brings in the tourism dollars. She accuses some of the commercial fishing operators of taking every living thing out of places like the lagoon at Double Island Point, which acts as a fish trap at low tide.
"I'll talk to Les," she said. "His dolphin-feeding business will be one of the big winners."
Inshore waterways, normally a State Government matter, would become a federal issue through World Heritage listing, she said.