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The Member for Shellharbour has today responded to comments made by the Minister for Primary Industries in which he rejected calls for a temporary local cockle fishing ban, and extended her call to action to the Member for Kiama.

In an interview last night shown on WIN News Illawarra, the Minister for Primary Industries rejected calls for a cockle fishing moratorium and refused to commit to increasing local Fisheries NSW staffing levels or penalties for offenders.

The Member for Shellharbour has written directly to the Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra, Gareth Ward MP, calling on him to join the campaign calling for a moratorium on cockle fishing in the Illawarra.

Local residents have formed a taskforce to tackle the issue, and have taken to various forms of social media to continue to collaborate on the monitoring of the situation.

Ms Watson would like to encourage local community members to continue to report suspicious and illegal activities to the Department of Primary Industries Fisheries Compliance team, by phone 1800 043 536 (Fishers Watch) or online www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/compliance/report-illegal-activity.

Quotes attributable to Anna Watson MP, Member for Shellharbour:

“The Minister’s comments yesterday were hugely disappointing. Even if the Minister won’t listen to the calls of my community the Government’s representative in our region, the Member for Kiama, should.

“This campaign has picked up real momentum since the Member for Kiama last commented on this issue. I want to know if his position has changed and if he will now be willing to stand with our community.

“It’s time to get on the right side of this campaign and join our community in this fight, Gareth.”

Attached: Letter to Gareth Ward MP, Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and Member for Kiama (dated: 11 January 2019)


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