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Cronulla Fisheries Closure

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Your chance to tell the State Goverernment not to close Cronulla Fisheries ends Monday. This article appeared today in the Sydney Morning Herald showing the government dosn't have the support of it's own members. I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mark Speakman for standing up for his own electorate.


I'd also like to highlight the positon of Robert Brown MLC of the Shooters and Fishers Party. After cashing in on fisherman for support at the last election he has no interest and in fact supports decentralisation and would like to see 500 plus National Park and Wildlife staff decentralised (read displaced) from Hurstville to rural areas as well as Forestries NSW "decentralised" from Pennant Hills.

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There is still time to save at Cronulla Fisheries if we act quickly...

Closure of Cronulla Fisheries - Key points to consider:

Impact to the fisheries of NSW

Good fisheries management can not be undertaken without good

scientists and experienced managers.

NSW currently has some fantastic, diverse fishing on offer despite

it’s ever increasing population size. The NSW fish stocks need to be

more carefully managed than most of the other states due to the

overwhelming number of users of the resource competing for access.

The wild fisheries resources of NSW belong to the citizens of NSW and

must be maintained on their behalf by the government. Cronulla

Fisheries Research Centre (CFRC) is the home of the majority of wild

fisheries expertise in NSW. The loss of specialised fisheries

scientific and management expertise can mean only one thing for the

fisheries resources of NSW – greater uncertainty of stock health and

an increased risk of depleted stocks and overfishing.

Staff and expertise

The staff at cronulla are

specialists. The staff have in excess of 800 years experience in

fisheries research and management and collectively over 75 science

degrees and 19 PhDs and 1 DSc. It is estimated that more than 90% of

staff will not be able to move to the proposed new

locations and therefore specialised skills and experience will be lost

from Fisheries.

Reduction in services to anglers

Service to NSW anglers will be significantly impacted. Fisheries work

will be moved away from where stakeholders live and work. For example

over 60 per cent of recreational anglers in NSW live in the Sydney

area compared to less than 1% per cent at Nowra (the proposed base for

Recreational Fisheries Management). This will reduce the ability of

Fisheries to interact with the majority of NSW’s anglers and fishing

clubs (and other key stakeholders) and will make it significantly more

challenging to recognise and

address key issues for recreational fishers.

Cost to tax and licence payers

Currently the Cronulla site costs little to run. There is no rent and

maintenance costs are modest. It is estimated that staff relocation

costs, plus moving costs and provision of facilities at new sites will

be in excess of $20 million. There will also be significant on-going

costs of managing stakeholders and projects from sites less central

and more difficult to access.

Loss of facilities

The facilities at Cronulla are amongst the most modern and effective

for fisheries research in Australia. They are state-of-the-art and

have had over $1 million recently spent on upgrading and modernising

the laboratory facilities.

Impact on community

CFRC is the largest single employer in Cronulla with around 150

employees and with an annual budget of about $17 million a significant

purchaser of local goods and services. Moving these jobs and our

business elsewhere will have a significant impact on the local


The community has told the government that they would like the site to

remain as a fisheries research centre.

Loss of brand

The Cronulla fisheries site is a unique and iconic institution in

terms of its scientific and fisheries management credentials, its

heritage and cultural value, and is highly regarded by the national

and international scientific communities as a research centre of



The closure of CFRC is a very poor decision and could have a major

impact on the quality of the fisheries resource of NSW. The

announcement was made by a Minister who has not visited the staff and

the Cronulla site. There was virtually no consultation with the major

stakeholders prior to the decision. (The decision was supported by

one group of commercial fishers that includes some self interested

individual fishing businesses based on the north coast). There was no

support sought from recreational fishing groups or recreational

fishers (estimated to be over one million in NSW), environmental

groups, the scientific community or the general public – evidenced by

the 19,000+ petition signatures against the decision to relocate the


Current position of re-location - there is still plenty to save

A number of good staff members have left Fisheries already, although

the majority of staff are still currently present at Cronulla. If the

re-location could be swiftly overturned, the Cronulla Fisheries

Research Centre and its staff could still be saved without an

overwhelming loss of expertise.

As at 11 July 2012, of the 149 people originally at Cronulla:

• 118 are still at Cronulla;

• 18 have resigned, 4 of these positions have been backfilled;

• 7 have relocated to regional NSW and 5 to other sites in Sydney;

• and 1 staff member has passed away.

No boats, cars or any infrastructure has currently been re-located.

The library is the only facility that is currently being moved.

Making a submission to the Inquiry

Instructions on how to complete a submission are on the parliament site at:


(There are no specific rules, anything submitted in writing will be


Details about the inquiry including terms of references are contained

in the release below:


Please submit a response now (use as much or as little of the

information above as you like) and save fisheries at Cronulla!!

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I totally agree, we all should do what we can to help save Cronulla Fisheries. One of the reasons we have such great fishing is the work done by the scientists and managers at Cronulla. It is sad that political agendas can get in the way of sensible government. Mark my words, if the scientists at NSW Fisheries who know about wild fisheries, and there are only about 10 of them, lose their jobs because they cannot move to Coffs, Port Stephens or Nowra, then the annual assessments of our fish stocks will fall over. The result? More precuationary management including more justification for marine parks lock-outs.

It's about time the Shooters & Fishers stood up and weighed in on this issue.

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