By Staff Writer Mozza

At 10am on Tuesday the 27th October 2020 Clive Palmer and his entourage hit Bribie Island and spoke at the Pacific Harbour Golf Club before working the pre polling booths. A crowd of supporters and national, state and local media heard from Mr Palmer and the United Australia Party (UAP) candidate for Pumicestone Dr Steven Newberry.

Mr Palmer spoke of the need of strength and resilience in Queensland the ability of UAP to make a real difference in Queensland politics. In support of these aims he highlighted the problems the current Queensland Government have in relation to debt, saying in 100 years Queensland amassed $60B in debt and that over the last 6 years it has doubled to $120B.

He criticised the growth of the Public Service and the ALP announcement that it would cut health funding to pay for more nurses effectively reshuffling money around the health budget. He went on to question how a new hospital on Bribie could be funded amongst these cuts. He accused the ALP of making hollow promises it could not afford unless new taxes such as a death tax was introduced.

He stressed that the economy was his party’s first priority with unemployment at 8.5% and due to rise dramatically after Jobkeeper ends. He also criticised the Queensland Investment Corporation as being staffed by ALP mates that invest 95% of Queensland funds into the USA creating jobs in Seattle rather than here in Queensland.

He predicted the borders would be open and business going again after the 3rd and 4th November 2020 when his high court challenge was heard. He maintained that 1000s of people had given their lives to ensure Australia remained one country and the Premiers had no right to undo this. He was also critical of the one rule for wealthy people like Tom Hanks and sporting teams and another rule for other citizens such as grieving relatives wanting to attend funerals and the sick seeking treatment in Queensland.

The local candidate Dr Steven Newberry then outlined his view of local issues on Bribie Island including that of unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and suicide, the need to provide medical services, education and to support small business on the island. He highlighted that the other candidates had been parachuted in from elsewhere by their political parties and would vote along party lines rather than in the best interests of the community.

He also said that he had worked in the mining industry and he agreed with Mr Palmer that mining royalties should not be wasted by governments in big cities but should be spread evenly across Queensland. He was also critical of the ALPs handling of mining projects such as the Adani and Acland mine and said it was evidence that the ALP didn’t support mining that creates regional jobs.

The Q and A session continued until Mr Palmer had to go to attend the polling booths and meet the voters of Bribie Island and surrounds.

Despite this the United Australia Party attracted only 261 votes or 1.1% of the total in a disappointing result for the party.

In the ultimate wash up of results Bribie residents voted for the ALP in very high numbers as an ageing population seeks protection from COVID 19. This became the overwhelming issue of the campaign in the end denying parties promoting an opening of the borders any traction in the results.

By Staff Writer Mozza

Accessing the Mt Mee entrance to the huge D’Aguilar National Park only takes about an hour from Bribie Island and surrounds. Travel past Caboolture towards Kilcoy through Wamuran and turn left at the main intersection at the town of D’Aguilar travelling around 10kms up the range and ten turn right into Sellin Road. A scenic road past farms provides endless views of the Brisbane Valley before you reach The Gantry picnic area.

The Gantry was an active sawmill producing timbers which were used in the Moreton Bay Region, including the Hornibrook Highway which connected Sandgate and Clontarf, a distance of 2,686 metres, making it Australia’s longest bridge at the time.

When you drive around D'Aguilar National Park, you get a real appreciation for how difficult it would have been in the early days of sawmill operations. The only reminder of those industrial times is the skeleton of the huge shed, erected in the 1950’s by Hancock’s Sawmill to house the overhead gantry crane.

If you’re looking to stretch your legs there are excellent walks from the Gantry you should look at.

Falls Lookout

To reach this lookout walk 500m from the carpark to a viewing platform overlooking the northern side of the D’Aguilar Range and Nuerum Valley. The platform sits above Bulls Falls and rockpools

Somerset trail

Beginning opposite the Gantry, this track passes through scribbly gum forests, rainforest and dry open forest. About halfway along you can enjoy views overlooking Somerset Dam and Lake Wivenhoe to the west. You will need to ensure you are wearing appropriate shoes and walking gear for this trail and remember to bring water, as there is no drinking water available along the trail.

Piccabeen walk

A one kilometre loop, Piccabeen Walk is a delightful relaxing stroll. You will enjoy the rainforest setting and grove of piccabeen palms, whilst also learning more about Mount Mee from the information signs along the path. Walk usually take 20-30 minutes and is perfect for families with small children.

Mill rainforest walk is also worth a look with its own carpark 3kms down the gravel road.

For 4WD enthusiasts the Range Road forest drive is available as well as Archer campground and Somerset lookout via the Western Escarpment forest drive. These tracks provide spectacular views over the Great Dividing Range, Somerset Dam and Wivenhoe headwaters. In addition the Neurim Creek Campground is 6kms drive from the Gantry and you can enjoy a swim at Rocky Hole an 8km drive from the Gantry also.

A tip for a late lunch on the way home near D’Aguilar town is a little place on the left called the Place 2b. There you’ll find yourself surrounded by the lushest of greens, with a tranquil dam at the centre of this beautiful view that’s yours to take in. The Place 2B is the perfect place to sit back and unwind over our barista-made coffee or loose leaf tea, take easy walks in the garden, view walls filled with local artwork, enjoy delicious home-cooked food, or trip down memory lane amongst rustic décor.

As a kid-friendly restaurant and pet-friendly cafe, the welcoming vibe is sure to make you feel right at home.

By Staff Writer Mozza

Recent Ministerial changes made under new fishing regulations that came into force in 2019 under the Fisheries Act are setting alarm bells off all over the Queensland fishing industry including here on Bribie Island and surrounding waters.

As a result, the seafood industry's peak body says their industry and the multi-generational families that earn their living from it have been torn apart by the political agenda of the state government.

Industry representatives are saying quotas don’t account for weather changes and would result in industry corporatisation, meaning domestic seafood catches would likely be sold in other nations rather than being available for the domestic population.

Representatives also say corporatized fishing industry of large multinational fishing companies could potentially squeeze out locally owned fishing ventures and turn their workers into lowly paid servants of those corporations who skim all the profits and take them overseas. This scenario has played out all over the world when governments introduce quota systems and this government has learned none of the lessons from that.

In addition they say, fishers who do not have sufficient or any quota in specific species will still catch them from time to time and will be forced to discard what would otherwise be a valuable food source for the public. This is an irresponsible approach to fisheries management if sustainability is a sincere concern.

Fishermen are telling industry what's being said by the government doesn't match what they see in the water. The industry of course want a sustainable industry, but the processes put in place about total allowable catch is hurting fishermen who are just making ends meet now. If they've get further reductions of 30pc, they won't be viable.

After 100 years of involvement in all aspects of commercial fisheries management and consultation, Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA) president Keith Harris said they have recently been excluded and ignored in matters that affect every part of their lives.

He blamed an extreme green and anti-fishing ideology that the government was unable to walk away from and called for the removal of WWF Australia and the Australian Marine Conservation Society from government working groups.

His statements were previously rejected by Fisheries Minister Mark Furner, who said because the allocation of any resource was challenging, the government had sought feedback specifically from commercial fishers.

QSIA chief executive officer Eric Perez said that on the contrary, industry was talked at but no genuine consultation took place.

"The government had a plan in place and green extremist groups on the working groups," he said.

The QSIA has called for the reform process to stop while a review of quota management arrangements and zoning takes place, and for modelling of the impacts of the reform on the consumer supply chain.

"The quota changes will cull our fishing families," Mr Perez said.

"We estimate 30 per cent of operators in the inshore net and crab fisheries will be out of work. The majority of the fish that you eat now in Queensland is caught locally by net fishers.

"There are certain types of fish people want to see every day - if we can't meet consumer demand with wild-caught fish, the gap will be filled with either local aquaculture or imported fish products."

Both the QSIA and opposition agricultural spokesman Tony Perrett said no modelling was done by the government on the socio-economic impacts the changes would have, or the effect on the post-harvest industry.

"If you put structural reform in place, a regulatory impact statement should inform that process but that hasn't happened in this case," Mr Perrett said. "The thing the minister has got to do is release the science. He's just saying, trust me."

The government argues that the reform, which includes net-free zones, meant there would continue to be Queensland fish on the table while thousands of jobs in both the commercial and recreational sectors would be protected.

He added that the introduction of commercial catch limits for species such as barramundi and mud crab would help ensure fish for the future.

Mr Perez described such comments as bordering on the insane.

"With the introduction of quota we estimate at least 20 percent of commercial fishers will exit the industry, not compensated for the impacts on their businesses.

"With less local product there will be extra pressure on the retail sector, putting at risk jobs across our industry. Again, no modelling has been done."

"What they're frustrated about is they seem to be fighting an ideology."

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