Noosa Shire Council
9 Pelican St,
Tewantin QLD 4565

To Mayor Clare Stewart & all Councillors,

Re: Noosa River Catchment Management Plan (NRCMP)

I write to raise strong concerns on the above-mentioned plan and the lack of real consultation, perceived or otherwise with both stakeholders and community alike. The Board of AFTA have asked local AFTA Member, Peter Wells, Davo’s Tackle World Noosa to present this letter of concern on our behalf.

AFTA is the national peak body representing the whole of the recreational fishing industry throughout Australia.  Our membership represents every aspect of recreational fishing from manufacturers, wholesale distributors, retail, media, and charter operations and as such we are connected with every person participating in recreational fishing.

I understand that a Council vote on the NRCMP is to be held on the 26th October, mindful of the broad concerns over the lack of consultation and importantly a lack of real non-biased scientific evidence supporting your council position, it is prudent the vote should be deferred to allow meaningful consultation and independent evaluation of any science being relied upon.

Whilst you cite the level of consultation at Appendix 3 of the NRCMP, it is obvious from the community and stakeholder reaction it was insufficient, furthermore the NRCMP appears so secretive as it is not publicly available on your council website.

The NRCMP has not clearly outlined, nor justified the reasoning of why this action is happening to the satisfaction of your constituents, nor the visitors you rely upon to generate the tourism economy of Noosa. The impacts on fishing and boating, and in turn tourism and all the aligned support industries will be impacted upon to their detriment.

I refer to the NRCMP section relating specifically to recreational fishing on page 31, wherein it states:

The recommended approach to manage sustainable fisheries is to take an ecosystem-based approach focused on the management of biodiversity. 

Aiming for 60% biomass and a 33.3% no-take of all bioregions in the Noosa River estuary meets Australia’s commitment to the Convention on Biological Biodiversity at the local level. (ref: The Convention on Biological Diversity (2016).

AFTA’s position conflicts with that statement and note target values relating to biomass and no-take are not defined in the aforementioned Convention.  AFTA deem this an overreach based on an agenda that is not supportive of meaningful and balanced outcomes for all the community including, but not limited to recreational fishing and boating.  To this last point, I am confident your consultation with the Boating Industry Association would reflect this position.

I ask you to consider these points, I can be contacted personally on 0419 694620 to further discuss our concerns.  I await your response.

Yours sincerely,

The Hon Bob Baldwin
Independent Chair
Australian Fishing Trade Association