Please stay safe and consider vaccination ASAP

The Hon Bob Baldwin

Chair, Australian Fishing Trade Association

AFTA Chairs Report August 2021

COVID-19   The rapid acceleration across the nation of the Delta Corona Virus has had serious ramifications for AFTA Members and recreational fishers Australia wide.

Each state is taking vastly differing approaches with currently the most affected state being NSW with lockdowns being extended until the end of September in the Sydney area and Melbourne ranking as the 4th most lockdown city in the world.

In NSW AFTA has been on the front foot in pushing Ministers for access with the tight restrictions being handed down.  AFTA was able to get government confirmation that retail Tackle shops could operate as a “Click & Collect” facility, but not open their doors to the public.  A small, but an essential win for our retail traders.

In NSW we have seen government departments out of step with each other creating confusion in our industry.   The rules are a rapidly moving feast with 23 changes to the  Public Health (COVID-19 Additional Restrictions for Delta Outbreak) Order 2021 since 26 June.

Confusing messages from NSW Ministers about being able to travel further than 5k offshore have not helped.  As always it is best to read all that is available and make an informed decision on how the rules apply to you.

In Qld, the lockdown in late July delivered an effective shutdown of recreational fishing in the south of Qld, thankfully this has now passed.  Again, AFTA made strong representations to the Qld government on your behalf.

Across the nation, common sense seems to be in short supply within the various bureaucracies advising Government Ministers.  Hopefully, we will see some light at the end of the tunnel once the vaccination rates hit the government’s 80% target.

The only comforting factor is that our wholesale and manufacturing members are a part of the national supply chain and as such, they have been able to continue with staff working from home where possible.

Please stay safe and consider vaccination ASAP, if not to save your own life then perhaps the loved ones around you.